Jason Bartlett is gone. Add that to the long list of top notch players Rays fans have seen depart the team over this off-season. Of course with all of the defections and trades, you have a new player who will be given a chance and one of those guys will be Reid Brignac. He’s penciled in as the Rays starting shortstop after playing all of 2010 with the Rays as a backup infielder. Brignac and Evan Longoria was dubbed the left side of the infield of the future a few years ago and while the Bartlett acquisition slowed that down, it’s finally going to happen.
In fact Brignac’s solid season probably had a lot to do with the Rays shipping Bartlett out of town. Bartlett had an off year in 2010, but he would have been due a raise this year in his final year of arbitration eligibility. I like Brandon Gomes and while he repeated Double-A, he has a second dominating season. This guy could be the Rays closer of the future. Throw in the other two pitchers and infielder and you have a solid core for a team that lost too many guys to contend in 2011.
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