With the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies vying for the #1 pick in the 2016 MLB draft, a race to keep an eye on is the Rays moving into the top ten. The Rays are only three games behind the Detroit Tigers for the #8 pick.
Currently they stand to select #15.
A team that relies heavily on statistical analysis as much as the Tampa Bay Rays the team may soon come to the harsh reality their playoff aspirations are gone. With 24 games left they are 6.5 games behind the Texas Rangers and the second wild card spot. If the Rangers go 12-13 the Rays would have to go 18-6 just to tie. MLB.com has the Rays wild card possibility at 2.1%.
Not only could they “improve” their pick by seven slots, but bonus pool money can increase by roughly 600K.
For a team that needs to keep talent constantly flowing to the Major League team moving up seven spots is huge.
However, as Herm Edwards famously said, “You play to win the game.”
But, it may make sense to give more playing time to the players which their future on the team may be uncertain.
Would Richie Shaffer benefit from more playing time at first base?
How about shutting down some of the starters as they are reaching the most innings they have pitched at the professional level?
While no fan wants to see their team give up in the final month until they are mathematically eliminated. Teams need to consider all opportunities to improve the ball club in the long-term.
How about you play to develop the future?