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Tampa Bay Devil Rays
We've all seen once-great vets use expansion as a life-support system for their wallets (Dale Murphy, Rockies), and it's not pretty. Which doesn't mean Wade Boggs, 39, can't find his lifetime .331 stroke one last time. Platooning for the Yankees in '97, Boggs hit .292, not bad for a guy who was supposed to be washed up. If the future Hall-of-Famer gets 160 hits this season, he'll be 40 short of 3,000 for his career. Those hits won't generate many wins, but they will force the Devil Rays to bring him back so they can cash in on his pursuit of 3,000which will finally give their fans something worth cheering for.
What They Needed: What didn't they need?
What They Got: Well, lots of players, most of the scrub variety. Wilson Alvarez will be the ace, Roberto Hernandez the closer, pitcher Tony Saunders the future, third baseman Wade Boggs and first baseman Fred McGriff the big names and Quinton McCracken the best name.
What it All Means: The Devil Rays' middle relief is very, very bad, and aside from Alvarez and Saunders, the rotation is not a whole lot better. They will probably finish last, but at least they'll do it with a decent infield (Boggs, McGriff, backup first baseman Paul Sorrento and shortstop Kevin Stocker are competent players).
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