Chris Archer, ever a fount of wisdom, was full of praise for The Rays Way in an interview today on Sirius XM.
To echo Archer: Scouting and creativity have resulted in several great seasons for the Rays, even if the last three years have been objectively disappointments.
As the Rays have had the opportunity to re-stock the farm system and negotiate great contracts, a return to contention should be just around the corner.
Toward the end of the conversation, Archer does make a wish that the Rays could spend a little more freely on the free agent market, and after several years of a low dollar payroll perhaps that is in the near future as well, but don’t let that narrative distract you from what is otherwise great (and necessary) buy-in to the process from the Rays ace.
You can read his full comments below:
At this point I've been with the Rays for parts of five seasons, four full seasons, I'll be honest with you, man, I'm kind tired of hearing in interviews about a "competitive disadvantage" against these other teams.
I get it. We might not be capable of spending with the Yankees and Red Sox. But if we keep harping on it then it permeates the minds of the players. And we don't want the players to think that we're at any competitive disadvantage.
We have a different advantage I believe, and I think it comes from the scouting department and the creativeness that we've been able to develop over the years.
I'm really starting to get tired of hearing the word "disadvantage" when it comes to the Rays because that's just the wrong mentality to start with.
But to go along with that, I think in order for us to be successful, we've got to spend more money.
You look at the teams that were in contention this year and they were all around the $100-million payroll mark or more. And we're in the $70 million payroll.
So I think a couple added pieces, yeah, we're going to have to spend a little bit of money. But a couple added pieces with the starting pitching that we have can change everything. We can get back to the winning franchise that we were.
Because, frankly, playing for 90-loss teams is not fun. And being under .500 is not fun.
I want to get back to that winning culture, winning environment. I was spoiled in 2013 to be part of a playoff team pretty much my first full season in the big leagues.
And I want that. That's my expectation every year.
And I hope from an ownership perspective and from a front office perspective that they want that as well.
And not just a solid season, no. I want to be playing in October, and super deep in October and win a championship.''
Full transcript courtesy of the Tampa Bay Times.