The Tampa Ray Devil Rays have signed free-gent first baseman Travis Lee to a one-year contract. The D-Rays are attempting to aquire the worst players from every team in baseball. I envisioned doing that once in a fantasy league, but that would be just as an experiment. The Rays are doing for real.
They acquired the weak-hitting Rey Ordonez from the Mets and had already acquired Phillie weak link Marlon Anderson. They signed castoffs Lee Stevens (Montreal and Cleveland) and Chris Truby (Montreal and Detroit) , both of whom had train-wreck seasons last year, to minor-league deals.
Meanwhile they have lost their best position player (Randy Winn) in exchange for the rights to manager Lou Piniella and their number-one starter in Tanyon Sturtze as a free agent. Their career win leader on their pitching staff is Joe Kennedy at 15, followed by Victor Zambrano at 14. And next is Travis Harper at 6. None of their pitchers had more than 8 wins last year. Vets Steve Parris (5 wins in 2002 and 44 for his career), Bob Wells (2 and 40), Jim Parque (1 and 30), and Blake Stein (0 and 21) are non-roster invitees. Their only viable candidate for the All-Star game is Aubrey Huff, unless Josh Hamilton has a break-out rookie year.
If you think that the M's lacking a starting left fielder irked Lou Piniella in Seattle, don't you think that lacking 90% of a major-league roster is going to cause Sweet Lou to explode?
Meanwhile, Lee will likely start at first pushing Huff to either the DH spot or third base. Greg Vaughn, the worst player in the majors for half of last year before his season was shut down, and Stevens will compete for time at DH as well.
It's hard to imagine but this team could be worse than the 55-106 team from last year.