With the clock ticking toward today's 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver deals, there hasn't yet been much news from the Devil Rays or anyone else - Yankees reliever Scott Proctor looks to be going to the Dodgers, and Joel Piniero from the Red Sox to the Cardinals. That's not surprising as team officials are huddled to go over options heading into the final hours of free market dealing, with the usual late afternoon flurry expected.
The Rays hold two interesting chips in veteran relievers Al Reyes and Dan Wheeler, and while they are willing to talk about both they are going to have to presented with a strong offer to do anything, such as Seattle catching prospect Jeff Clement. There are a number of teams interested - and more or less depending on who you believe.
The Mariners have been considered most interested in Reyes, but almost all the contenders - Mets, Yankees, Indians for sure - are possibilities, and other teams can emerge in the final hours depending on what other deals they make. And the Braves could be if their deal for Octavio Dotel doesn't go through. By getting Proctor, the Dodgers would appear to be out of the market for Wheeler, as had been rumored.
While most of the focus has been on the two relievers, the Rays could have a couple of other smaller pieces available that might help a contender fill a bench spot, such as backup catcher Josh Paul and outfielder Jonny Gomes. There has been surprisingly little talk about 1B Carlos Pena despite his impressive season.
There have been a few whispers about injured OF Rocco Baldelli and troubled OF Elijah Dukes, and the cursory mention of All-Star Carl Crawford.
Today's St. Louis Post-Disptach throws out an interesting idea, and we repeat it here noting that former Rays farm director Cam Bonifay now works for the Cardinals and has been at the Trop often:
"Tampa Bay has told clubs that it has no untouchable players, which would suggest lefthander Scott Kazmir is available. Kazmir, 23, long has been touted as a cornerstone for the Devil Rays' future and would command a package of players."
That would have to be quite a package.