Originally written on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/16/14
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. The Tampa Bay Rays brain trust sat side by side under a clear sky, a frenetic offseason behind them, this day of fresh starts a reminder of the expectations to come. The phrase is worn but appropriate for the men steering one of the American League Easts most efficient franchises: The more things change, the more they stay the same for manager Joe Maddon and executive vice president Andrew Friedman, even if a winter makeover on the mound has produced questions about how the Rays intend to prolong their consistency. Gone is right-hander James Shields, sent to the Kansas City Royals in a December deal after he pitched no fewer than 215 innings in five of the past six years. Gone is right-hander Wade Davis, also sent to the Midwest in the six-player blockbuster trade after four productive seasons as a starter and a reliever. Enter new faces, a mix Maddon calls versatile and interesting, players such as shortstop Yunel Escobar and infielderoutfielder Kelly John...
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