Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane was in Prattville today to speak at the AUM business breakfast series and said Tampa Bay faces tough decisions to stay atop the American League East.
The Rays have developed many of their own stars. They've signed a few of them to long-term contracts, but the others will soon seek hefty paydays. That could outstrip the team's budget.
"The Rays will have the same challenges as any small market," McLane said. "When you develop good players and they become arbitration-eligible, you either sign them to big salaries (or lose them).
"That’s what we’ve struggled with over the years with Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman as he came along and Roy Oswalt."
(At right, Bagwell douses McLane while the Astros celebrate the 2005 National League championship.)