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Rays Tank: Manfred wants an international Draft

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In today's tank: The probable future MLB International Draft, The Most Cost-Effective Rotations in Baseball, some bold predictions, the Anti-Kershaw and fantasy baseball.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning everyone! You may wake-up today with an anxious feeling about the Rays 2015 season, knowing that Alex Cobb will certainly miss some time due to a forearm injury. After Colome and Smyly issues, the Tampa Bay starting rotation isn't a happy place to be right now. Although there is still time to figure something out before the regular season starts and hopefully Kevin Cash and Matthew Silverman will get through this.

Meanwhile in baseball, new commissionner Rob Manfred is apparently open to an international draft. As Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer reports, Manfred is actually a strong supporter of the idea:

"I am of the view that at some point, for the good of the game, for the good of competitive balance, we are going to have an international draft"

After seeing guys like Moncada receiving a $31.5M bonus, several comments emerged asking for new rules and a fairer way of adding players from foreign countries. A few weeks ago, Matt Silverman was one of these commenters, publicly stating that the "current MLB structures" put the Rays at a disadvantage.

Although Rob Manfred did not give any specific details about the draft format, he did explain why the MLB suddenly feels the need for a change, pointing towards the new relations between the United States and Cuba:

"With the relaxation that's taken place with respect of Cuban players it has put a stress test on that international system," said Manfred. "Frankly, it's proved wanting. I am of the view that at some point, for the good of the game, for the good of competitive balance, we are going to have an international draft."

Finding new ways to make the game more competitive and balanced is essential to ensure that a few teams won't hold the reins of the league forever. Getting a new draft specifically made for international players will certainly add more fun to the scouting aficionados, and it could also lead players from "new" countries to present themselves and enter the major league.

Today's Rays Game

The Tampa Bay Rays will play against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium at 1.07pm E.T. With a current record of 6 wins for 6 losses, the Rays will try to pass the .500 line against the Canadian franchise. Chris Archer will start the game and try to get his first spring win after two losses and a current 5.06 ERA. Mark Buerhle will be the opposing starter after two successful starts and a 1.00 ERA in 5 innings pitched.

Links

- Interested in rotations and baseball economics? Craig Edwards from Fangraphs presents the most cost-effective rotations in baseball. Spoiler alert: The Indians are number one, just ahead of our Tampa Bay Rays.

- R.J. Anderson from Baseball Prospectus takes a look at Scott Kazmir, the "Anti-Kershaw", as the current Oakland pitcher allowed the third most stolen bases among lefties, while Kershaw did pretty well to protect his bases.

- It's always fantasy baseball time, especially during the preseason. If you're still preparing your draft, Grey from Razzball took a look at the 2015 outfielders to target. Desmond Jennings and Steven Souza are among them!

Rotographs 2015 recruit Paul Sporer presents his bold prediction for 2015. According to him, you should target Leonys Martin, Yasmani Grandal....and a few others.

- Finally, Scott Lindholm wrote an excellent piece about the new kind of "power closers", i.e. the guys who have more strikeouts than baserunners allowed. Solid.