MLB spring training 2018: Three things on the Rays’ to-do list

The Rays finished third in the crowded AL East last season, surprising many with a young team. More roster loses this offseason appear to have Tampa Bay set for a rebuilding proce s, but they never seem to go away.Evan Longoria was traded to the Giants and a few more veterans are linked with moves out of Tampa Bay, but the Rays still have enough talent to contend for a postseason spot.Here are three things on the Rays’ to-do list this spring:1. Figure out what to do with Chris Archer Nearly every contending team has reportedly expre sed some sort of interest in Archer this offseason, with the Brewers and John Jaso Jersey Twins the latest to circulate through the rumor mill. Tampa Bay and Archer have both stated that the All-Star will likely be a Rays starter this season, but the rumors won’t go away.Archer has four years of team control remaining on his team-friendly contract, meaning the Rays can ask a lot in return for the 29 year old. Teams could balk at a high asking price because despite Archer’s high strikeout numbers (249 last season), he’s been inconsistent (4.02 ERA in 2016 followed by 4.07 ERA last year). The Rays may be more inclined to move Archer in the summer if things don’t work out, but it might help them to move him now.2. Figure out long-term plan Somehow, the Rays always seem to be teetering on the edge of rebuilding and contending. They usually feature a roster with few household names, but finish the season with a winning record. However, their current roster needs work. The lineup, after losing Longoria, looks void of any real star power (especially after designatingCorey Dickerson 27 home runs last season for a signment).If the Rays do intend to compete this season, they need to hold on to Archer and add a couple more competent bats to help supply some runs.3. Continue developing Blake Snell, Jake Faria The two young Rays pitchers impre sed last season as starters. Faria, 24, went 5-4 with a 3.43 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings. Snell, 25, went 5-7 with a 4.04 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 129 1/3 innings, proving the Rays have a bright future set up for their rotation.But the Rays may need both pitchers to take a big leap this season. Though young, both were highly regarded prospects that could rise to stardom as soon as this year. One of the Rays’ main goals this spring should be keeping Faria and Snell healthy, while helping them develop their skill set.