By Timothy Downs @Tidow1212 on June 14, 2014
The Tampa Bay Rays have had a tremendous amount of success in the regular season in recent years, but unfortunately this season has been the exception as the team sits in last place in the AL East at 26-43. Here are five players they could do without in 2014.
Timothy Downs is a fantasy sports writer for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Tidow1212.
Jose Molina has been a great veteran presence for the Rays the past few seasons, but is not having a good 2014 campaign. Batting just .135 in 38 games, the Rays might be better off giving someone in their minor-league system a chance at the backup catcher's role. It would surprise me if the Rays do not offer Molina a post-playing career gig in their organization.
James Loney has done a respectable job at first base for the Rays since joining the club in 2013, but it is not likely he is in the organizations long-term plans. Batting .282 with 31 RBIs, the club should consider moving Loney, who would fit in nicely as a role player on a contending team.
Grant Balfour has had a rough season for the Rays, accumulating 10 saves while pitching to a 5.88 ERA. Aging closers can be very difficult for a manager to handle, and Tampa might be better off looking into their system for their next closer at this point.
It is no secret that it would be very difficult for Tampa to sign LHP David Price to a long-term contract extension, and as the club flounders in last place, there has never been a better time to move their biggest trade chip. Price could bring them back a king's ransom in return, and they should waste no time exploring trade options.
Yunel Escobar has not been good thus far in 2014, and although he is not tearing up the minor leagues, it might be time for the Rays to give the shortstop job to prospect Hak-Ju Lee, who is their future at the position. At still just 31, Escobar might bring back something from a contender looking to build some depth for a stretch run.
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