Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said developing talent through a team's minor league system is "paramount" to major league success, which is the way Tampa Bay has done it. Of course, Boston's financial means dwarf the Rays, though the Sox have also been successful at player development.
"There's no way of ever competing on a consistent basis without having guys come through your own system, guys that start off at the major league level making the minimum salary rather than guys who have already played in the major leagues and acquiring them from free agency or trades, where eventually the cost becomes prohibitive," Valentine said. "There's also a lot of pride that people deal with of being part of an organization, coming up through an organization like they do."
Valentine and the Red Sox are division rivals of the Rays, whose latest minor league gem is Matt Moore. Moore started last season with the Biscuits, ended it in the AL playoffs and is expected to start this year in Tampa Bay's rotation.
"I'm not looking forward to facing him, but I'm sure we'll get him," Valentine said. "We play each other 18 times during the season, and unless we're real lucky, we're going to get him a few times. He's good."