With the Rays opening the season tomorrow, I thought it would be nice to take a look at what has transpired the last couple months through Joe's glasses.
The team lost a young superstar in the making in Delmon Young, which you never like to see go, but what we got back is even more impressive. We now have a potential #1 like starter slating in as our #3, and we have one of the top five defensive shortstops in all of baseball, who isn't too bad with the bat either.
One thing this team was missing last year was veteran leadership and good face. We have both of those qualities in the signings of Troy Percival and Cliff Floyd. We shored up the bullpen and added a power, left-handed bat to the middle of the order, which was something we needed to find. We even locked up Pena and Shields to multi-year deals, so we are going to have these guys around to dominate the AL East for years to come.
When looking at the offseason, it is easy to just look at the things we have done, but we also need to look at what has happened around us. The most important thing that may have happened this offseason is the fact that Erik Bedard is no longer in the AL East, and that Johan Santana is not coming to the AL East. That would have been a total of about 8-10 starts against two of the best pitchers in all of baseball, and now we might face them once or twice. That alone could be the difference between a playoff team and a .500 team