Blue Jays vs. Rays: Who comes out on top of a position-by-position breakdown?

Graeme Wallace
Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Carlson/GettyImages
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The Tampa Bay Rays have been a thorn in the side of the Toronto Blue Jays for what seems like an eternity.

Despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, Tampa always seems to have a top farm system, and hit on all their trades and free agent acquisitions.

In 2022, Kevin Cash’s team took a step backward, going from a franchise record of 100 wins and an AL East crown to 86 wins, which was good enough for a wild-card spot.

Catchers

With Mike Zunino signing with the Cleveland Guardians, it’ll be up to Francisco Mejía and Christian Bethancourt to man the catching duties for the Rays in 2023. Both saw plenty of playing time last season, with both players setting new career-highs in games played. I’d expect Mejía to be the main guy but expect both to see plenty of action. Mejía, with the biggest opportunity of his career, seems primed for a breakout.

It’s a sneaky big year for Jays catching as well. If Danny Jansen can avoid the injuries that limited him to just 72 games last year, hitting 20 home runs is a real possibility. Meanwhile, Alejandro Kirk will be eager to prove he’s more like the player who hit .315 in the first half of last season than the one who batted just .246 after the All-Star break.

Advantage: Blue Jays (but not by as much as you might think)

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