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Rays' Myers is eager, but he might have to wait

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The Tampa Bay Rays paid the high cost to acquire Wil Myers from the Kansas City Royals with the expectation that he will play for them for a long time.

But as Myers made his first visit to Tropicana Field during the recent winter development camp, the more pressing question was: When will Myers get to start playing for them?

"I don't know the answer to that," executive VP Andrew Friedman said.

For a number of reasons, Myers is expected to open the season with Triple-A Durham. From the baseball side, there's the fact that he's only 21 and has less than a full season above Double-A. From the business side, there are benefits in terms of arbitration and free agency to delay starting his clock.

And Myers, who coincidentally grew up in North Carolina, is realistic, if not accepting.

"I understand the business, I understand the whole aspect of that, and if I go to Durham it won't be a bad thing," Myers said. "I have a lot of friends and family there."

Myers, who thought he might have been line for a promotion last summer in Kansas City, understands there is only so much he can control.

"I just want to go out and do my job and just try to get better every day," he said.

Myers, who is not yet required to be on the 40-man roster, will be an invitee to big-league camp, giving him a chance to show his stuff to coaches and executives. His primary focus will be working on his defense, having been moved from behind the plate to right field to center with the Royals.

Eventually, Myers knows, he will be back at the Trop to play. And stay.

"It's every person's dream to be in the major leagues," Myers said. "So, obviously, that's my goal. Every ballplayer has confidence that they're ready for the major-league level, but that's not my decision. That's for the front office. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity."
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