How Rays landed postseason hero Randy Arozarena is a lesson for Red Sox

Tomase: How Red Sox can one day acquire their own Randy Arozarena originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The refrain is uttered with a mixture of panic and disdain: Did John Henry hire Chaim Bloom to turn the Red Sox into the Rays?

By this logic, big-market teams shouldn’t debase themselves engaging in the constant machinations that have made Tampa a perennial contender despite one of the game’s lowest payrolls. Big-market teams should flex their big-market muscles and exploit their financial might.


The Dodgers, of course, have demonstrated it’s possible to have the best of both worlds by combining a have’s payroll with a have-not’s eye for talent. Justin Turner was non-tendered by the Mets and blossomed into an All-Star and NLCS MVP. Slugging catcher Max Muncy delivered consecutive 35-homer seasons after being released by the A’s. Stud pitching prospect Dustin May lasted until the third round of the draft.

Tomase: Preparing to say goodbye to these important Sox figures

And when the opportunity arose to add a generational talent, they pounced, acquiring former MVP Mookie Betts from the Red Sox and signing him to a $365 million extension.

Doing things the Tampa way doesn’t mean dropping the payroll to $30 million. But it does mean developing an organization that opens new avenues to finding talent. And for an example, let’s consider the circumstances that allowed the Rays to acquire postseason hero Randy Arozarena.

If you hadn’t heard of the outfielder until two weeks ago, you’re not alone. Signed for $1.25 million out of Cuba by the

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