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Dear MLB teams: Don't trade with the Rays, you won't win

After several years of bumping around top prospects lists with the Pirates, Austin Meadows has been a revelation with the Rays. Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays have always been a franchise that has been forced to make its way with a Homer Simpson income in a Montgomery Burns world. The bedrock of the Rays' best teams has always been the talent identified by its scouting and analytical groups and developed according to organizational specifications. The finished products from this process help the Rays for a bit, then typically move on before they become cost prohibitive.