Rays "not even thinking" of trading Crawford, other tidbits

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December

A few more items from what turned out to be a busy day in Rays land:

* Executive VP Andrew Friedman said there's no thought right now about trading All-Star LF Carl Crawford and the that the mutual goal remains a long-term deal.

"I'm not even thinking down that road right now as both sides have stated the goal is for him to be here long term,'' Friedman said. "All I'll say about it is that I'm sure he'll be aggressive as he can in his approach, as will we, and hopefully there is an overlap. But he's got to do what's in his best interest and one of the difficult things for us is figuring out how much we can allocate to one player, what percentage of our overall payroll we can allocate to one player and still be able to field a competitive team around him.''

Crawford will make $10-million this season in the last year of his contract.

* 1B Carlos Pena is recovering well from the broken fingers that ended his 2009 season and should be ready at the start of spring training. C Dioner Navarro is also on schedule following early October surgery on his left elbow; OF Fernando Perez may be a little behind after late October surgery on his left shoulder but should be ready for opening day.

* There remain a number of options at 2B and RF and both positions likely will be filled with internal candidates - Ben Zobrist could split time at both spots; Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac are other possibilities at second; Gabe Kapler and Matt Joyce in right.

*  Improving the bullpen remains the top off-season priority, but it is still unlikely the Rays will acquire an established closer.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:52am]

    

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