With the start of Spring Training on the horizon, the thinning of the herd will begin. So let's take an initial position-by-position look at what the 25-man roster could look like by Opening Day.
Catcher (2):Luke Maile and Curt Casali. Yes, the Rays signed Ramos, but he's recovering from knee surgery and won't be with the team until the midway point of the season. That means Casali and Maile should split duties to start the season.
Infield (6):Evan Longoria, Matt Duffy, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison, Nick Franklin and Tim Beckham. Longoria will be at third, Duffy at short, Miller at first and second, and Morrison at first. If the Rays decide to go with Miller at second, that could force the team to trade either Beckham or Franklin. Daniel Robertson could also push his way into contention for a spot, but for now, Beckham and Franklin look like they'll be the utility guys, filling in at most of the infield spots and in the outfield some, too.
Outfield (4): Rasmus, Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr. and Mallex Smith. Rasmus will be in left, Kiermaier in center, and Souza Jr. in right. Corey Dickerson will be the fourth outfielder/DH. Smith, who came over in the Smyly trade, could factor into the starting equation, but an injury or trade would probably have to happen. He'll likely be a speedy option off the bench.
DH (1): Dickerson. Along with playing some outfield, Dickerson should see most of the work at DH. But with Souza and Rasmus coming off surgeries, those two, along with Morrison, could also find themselves in the mix.
A lot can happen between the opening of camp and Opening Day. There are injuries, players returning from injuries and options to consider. All will be factors, but this is the initial guess. We'll revisit this later in Spring Training.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.