Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays went from losing in the World Series in 2020 to trading some of their best players and having an 18.6% chance to make the playoffs. It’s not a team devoid of talent, even after trading star pitcher Blake Snell to the Padres.
Now you might find it weird why I’m offering the Rays as a top rebuild team instead of a team like the Orioles. My reasoning is that the Rays never have a big payroll, they draft incredibly well, they make smart trades, and they constantly retool their roster and get rid of players for maximum value while somehow finding an incredible replacement almost immediately.
To help you rebuild and retool for their next World Series run, the Rays have a franchise record eight Top 100 prospects, headlined by SS phenom Wander Franco as MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect for the second year in a row. The switch-hitter had a 67 rating in last year’s game, but I can’t see him being rated lower than 70 to start in MLB The Show 21. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the next Fernando Tatis, so you’ll want to build around him. In his way is projected started Willy Adames, who is easily movable or can be a valuable bench piece.
Other Top 100 prospects include:
- P Luis Patino
- OF Randy Arozarena
- 2B/SS Vidal Brujan
- P Brendan McKay
- P Shane McClanahan
- 2B/SS Xavier Edwards
- P Shane Baz
Use this talented farm system as you see fit to wheel and deal for win-now players or build for a long sustainable run.
The Rays also have some valuable pieces in place with players, like:
- DH/OF Austin Meadows
- 2B/OF Brandon Lowe
- OF Randy Arozarena
- 1B Ji-Man Choi
- SP Tyler Glasnow
- SP Rich Hill
As for potential salary-related moves, CF Kevin Kiermaier ($11.5M) and SP Chris Archer ($6.5M) are your two highest paid players that you can move for salary flexibility. Overall, this is a roster that you can choose to compete now with and go toe to toe with the Yankees, Blue Jays and Red Sox (with the right moves) or take it slow and see what your young prospects can do.
Let us know who you plan to play as in MLB The Show 21 franchise mode in the comments below.