This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"It’s not that the Rays aren’t good at putting quality teams on the field with a low budget. They’re aggressive traders, they find an Alvarado here, a Wendle there. It’s a well-run organization. Sometimes, though, you have to do the simple thing, the non-subtle thing, and just write a check. As good as the Rays can be this year -- they’re the fifth- or sixth-best team in the AL -- I’ll always wonder what they would have been had they just added Harper or Machado. They can afford that kind of talent, and the signing might have forever changed baseball in Tampa."