Rays - still - not looking to deal a starter
With Cliff Lee making the unexpected decision to return to Philadelphia, Carl Pavano the next best option on the free agent market and Zack Grienke reportedly accelerating a trade from Kansas City, the Rays are going to get even more calls on their starting pitchers.
The Cubs and Rangers have reportedly been inquiring heavily on Matt Garza (who could be headed toward $6-million in salary through arbitration) along with the Brewers, and there was some talk about James Shields from the Rockies, and it's safe to assume there are also teams asking about Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellickson and - if they are really trying to get creative, or are really bored - the presumably untouchable David Price.
But despite having six potentially strong starters and some glaring holes elsewhere, Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman isn't changing his stance on not looking to deal from that area of depth. And least not yet, anyway, as he adds a never-say-never provisio to most anything.
Here is what Friedman said on the subject of a trade during Friday night's conference call:
“I’ve said before that it’s not a situation we look at like having two first basemen. We were very fortunate last year until August that all of our guys took the ball every five days. It doesn’t always happen that way, and depth on the starting pitching front is more valuable than anywhere else. Our focus is on making deals that fit in our short term and long term objectives, and without pinning it to any one area, we’re always going to be open minded to something that fits that criteria. But as far as our motivation? No, that remains the same.”