June 25, 2022

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Carlos Rodriguez, Puerto Rican who oversees the successful Tampa Bay development program

Carlos Rodriguez, Puerto Rican who oversees the successful Tampa Bay development program

St. PETERSBURG, Florida – As we gear up for Memorial Day weekend, the usually first deadline for a transition into a major league season, the Tampa Bay Rays play to 25-17 (.595), the second-best record in the prestigious MLS Eastern Conference, and hold one Of the three wild cards for circuit playoffs.

Tampa Bay, which has won the past two consecutive first division titles in its history, is seeking to advance beyond the season for the fourth consecutive season, which will be another milestone in the 25 years of the league’s youngest franchise existence.

And he’s done all this without getting close to $100 million on player payroll, despite having rivals like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who are always among the biggest spenders, and the Toronto Blue Jays, an enemy with a solid economy. The Baltimore Orioles, who had been spending rooftops for three years, had larger historical budgets than Tampa Bay.

2022 Ray has $86.4 million payroll, 25 in the major leagues, with 30 teams averaging $146 million. The Yankees ($247.6), Red Sox ($200.8) and Blue Jays ($167.6) ranked third, sixth and eleventh, respectively, while Baltimore ($45.4) ranked last in the budget.

When just over a quarter of the season table has been played, in the Major League, the Yankees (30-13) dominate the East, Minnesota Twins (27-16) middle and the Houston Astros (27-16) West. , while the Los Angeles Angels (27-17) and Rays and Toronto (23-20) took the three wild cards.

What is the key to success for a humble entity in such a challenging environment?

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“Development for us is key,” said Carlos Rodriguez, Rays vice president of baseball operations. “We have to look for good players and develop those talents, whether we sign them initially or get them in return.”

Players love [Wander] sincere, [Randy] arosarina, [Vidal Bruján]We need to develop it,” added Rodriguez, who played a crucial role in recruiting such brilliant Latin players as Dominican Franco, Brogan and Jesus Sanchez, Diego Castle, Genesis Cabrera and Christopher Sanchez; Brazilian Ian Gomez; Venezuelans Jose Alvarado, Uni Sherinos and Rene Pinto and Mexican Jonathan Aranda, among many others.

In 70 games and 20 years, Franco finished third in the 2021 rookie vote and then signed a whopping $182 million 11-year contract, the largest contract ever awarded by Tampa Bay and the record for player without a year in service. In 2022, Franco was the usual short player and one of the captains of the team.

Rodriguez said: “He still lacks development, but we are very happy with him. Franco will be a unique player. Great young man, tremendous talent, with many skills, he hits with both hands, whoever runs, he is a very special person,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, who has been with the organization for 12 years, has three seasons in his current role, where he assists COO and General Manager, Eric Nyandel, across the board and oversees the divisions of player development, baseball performance science, international scouting and academy operations.

Rodriguez, a former college player and coach, spent four years as an area explorer for the Blue Jays before joining Tampa Bay in 2010.

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With Rodriguez on board, the Rays have beefed up their recruitment, development and analysis system to make up for an understandable economic disadvantage against their division rivals and even out of the fray for playoff points, in the MLB and minor leagues. The epitome of Tampa Bay’s great moment as an organization was last year.

In 2021, the Rays won 100 games for the first time since entering the major tournaments in 1998. Even more surprising is that all five teams affiliated with the minor league finished top scores in their regular series and four of them were champions.

American baseball took home the Tampa Bay Organization of the Year award after its teams finished the year with 653 percent overall for minors. Since 2018, Tampa Bay has won first and second places in the rankings of the best organizations in baseball.

In this stretch, the parent team reached the world championship (in 2020, against the Los Angeles Dodgers) for the second time in its history, although it is still looking for its first championship.

“Winning is the goal, it has always been the goal. We need players like Franco and others to be able to compete at this level. The Yankees are not easy, Toronto are not easy and the Dodgers, who we faced two years ago, are not easy,” Rodriguez said.