Rays vs. Red Sox, looking for two
UPDATE, 5:09: Rays Maddon dismisses Gammons' Upton-Lee trade rumor, saying there's "nothing from our end regarding that being true."
UPDATE, 4:08: Upton said he heard the same rumor, expects there to be more leading up to the July 31 deadline, and won't let it bother him. Furthermore, he said he prefers to stay with the Rays.
UPDATE, 3:55: Upton's locker at the Trop is cleared out --- but only because he moved across the room to Dioner Navarro's old locker, which was Upton's locker in 2007.
UPDATE, 3:45: Upton is, as expected, back in the lineup tonight against lefty Doubront, though it's a bit of a surprise that lefty swinging John Jaso is catching rather than Kelly Shoppach.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are looking to make it two straight over the Red Sox tonight, with RHP Jeff Niemann taking the mound against Boston rookie LHP Felix Doubront, who was called up to replace injured Clay Buchholz.
There's already some buzz that started with a 14-word Twitter post earlier today from Peter Gammons of the MLB Network: "Rumblings around St. Pete ballpark was a BJ Upton-Cliff Lee deal. 3-way?"
Given that the Rays don't typically trade low, as they would be with the struggling Upton, and have said they don't have any room ot add salary, as they would with Lee, that would seem extremely unlikely. Plus, for the Rays to trade Upton now would be a major shakeup at a time they are playing better overall.
The Rays lineup isn't posted yet, but a half dozen players and manager Joe Maddon are on the field doing early hitting so it's not like there's any kind of summit meeting going on.
Here is the Red Sox lineup: