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Inbox: Could Rays trade for prospect haul?

Beat reporter Bill Chastain answers fans' questions
MLB.com @wwchastain

I've heard some suggest that maybe the Rays would be better off trading pieces of their roster so they can get a great return of prospects, like the White Sox and the Cubs have done.
-- Terence L., Sun City Center, Fla.

Interesting, Terence -- normally I receive emails from fans frustrated about the Rays trading players or not bringing them back when they become free agents. I can understand the appeal of wanting to see kids take over everywhere, but I don't think that's going to happen. If you follow the way Tampa Bay has done things in the past, I believe that is how it will go forward. And that is to keep several key veterans in place and build the roster from within, adding a free agent or two if they're the right price.

I've heard some suggest that maybe the Rays would be better off trading pieces of their roster so they can get a great return of prospects, like the White Sox and the Cubs have done.
-- Terence L., Sun City Center, Fla.

Interesting, Terence -- normally I receive emails from fans frustrated about the Rays trading players or not bringing them back when they become free agents. I can understand the appeal of wanting to see kids take over everywhere, but I don't think that's going to happen. If you follow the way Tampa Bay has done things in the past, I believe that is how it will go forward. And that is to keep several key veterans in place and build the roster from within, adding a free agent or two if they're the right price.

:: Submit a question to the Rays Inbox ::

With all of the Hot Stove talk recently, I've heard that the Rays are a prime target for a lot of trades. Regardless of if this happens, it seems counterintuitive based on the Rays' competitiveness to succeed in their division. Why suddenly have the change of heart to sell them all?
-- Andrew T., Lecanto, Fla.

Tampa Bay has had success with its model in the past, though it hasn't been a model that has brought positive results the past four seasons. If more fans attended games, that would certainly add to the pool of available money to spend, and a new stadium would create new revenue streams. The reality is even if a new stadium comes to fruition and Rays fans pack the place, Tampa Bay will never be able to compete financially against the likes of the Yankees and the Red Sox. But a cash injection would certainly help the team's lot, and it might change the way it goes about its business.

Hot Stove Tracker

How do you think Brad Miller will do this year?
-- Jack M., Sarasota, Fla.

Based on Miller's past performance, I have to believe that 2017 was an outlier season. He can hit, which he demonstrated in '16 when he hit 30 home runs in his first season with the team. I also believe he was hurting more than he let on last season.

Video: BAL@TB: Miller crushes a three-run homer to right

Do you think it will ever be mandatory that all coaches and managers wear the uniform on game day?
-- Bob M., Clearwater, Fla.

Interesting question, and one that prompted me to think about Connie Mack, who wore a suit in the dugout when he managed in the early days of the Major Leagues. The next time I see Kevin Cash, I will make a point of asking him if he'd like to wear a suit in the dugout rather than a Rays uniform. The manager never looks too happy when the prospect of wearing a coat and tie is mentioned.

Can the Rays get Eric Hosmer?
-- Big Randy J., Tampa, Fla.

I'm a big fan of Hosmer, the free-agent first baseman, not only for the way he hits, but also for the way he plays the game. Unfortunately for the Rays, I believe he will be out of their price range, even if he looks like the perfect fit to play first base for the team.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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