This is the 4th and final article in a series of articles examining how small payroll teams have found success in recent years. The goal is to try and determine what methods were successful in an attempt for the Pirates to emulate them. The Minnesota Twins were the first team studied, the Texas Rangers were the second team, and the San Diego Padres were the third team, in case you want to see the methodology of these articles.
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays (as they were called in their formative years) started play in 1998 along with the Arizona Diamondbacks. But unlike their expansion brother, the Devil Rays never tasted the sweet smell of success until 11 seasons into their history in 2008. In fact, the Devil Rays were fairly embarrassing and incompetent on the field, acting more as a repository for aging and faded veterans…which fit in nicely with being in the retirement capital of the state of Florida.
The Devil Rays inaugural GM was the amazingly incompetent Ch...