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Report: Rays unlikely to deal

31

July

Dunn_3 Update: 12:55 p.m. Though everything can change with one phone call, it appears the Rays may not make a move before the 4 p.m. trade deadline.

There has been much speculation circling around Tampa Bay's interest in Pirates OF Jason Bay, and more recently, Reds OF Adam Dunn, but ESPN.com is reporting that the Rays have backed off Dunn because he'd make their lineup too left-handed; the report also said Tampa Bay was told by the Pirates that Bay would likely land elsewhere.

With the deadline just a few hours away, anything can happen, so stay tuned.

Several other AL playoff contenders have chosen to make interesting moves the past few days. The latest was the White Sox acquiring Ken Griffey Jr from the Reds for a Pinellas County product, pitcher Nick Masset, as well as minor leaguer Danny Richar.

The Yankees picked up a replacement for injured catcher Jorge Posada, trading reliever Kyle Farnsworth to the Tigers for Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. That came after the Angels picked up slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira, swapping their own 1B Casey Kotchman (Seminole).

And the day is far from done, as the most intriguing deal could be one involving Red Sox star OF Manny Ramirez, who has reportedly approved a potential trade to the Marlins (the much speculated three-team deal, including the Pirates, could have Bay landing with the Red Sox).

But while that deal is being discussed, Toronto has possibly entered the mix for Bay, having talks with the Pirates as of this afternoon, according to espn.com's trade deadline blog.

Newbay 10:58 am. With much-speculated Rays trade target - Pirates OF Jason Bay - linked in a potential Manny Ramirez three-way deal with the Red Sox and Marlins, it appears the Rays are turning their attention to an interesting alternative option.

We had mentioned in today's Times that Reds OF Adam Dunn was someone the Rays could be considering, and SI.com is reported this morning that "more and more, the Rays are looking at Adam Dunn as a realistic possibility."

Now, of course, Dunn isn't the right-handed bat the Rays have been seeking - nor is he known for his defense - but he certainly would bring some power to a lineup that has struggled to score runs as of late. The left-handed hitting Dunn leads the majors in homers (32) and, interestingly enough, the 29-year-old has more home runs over the last five years than anyone in baseball (196).

Dunn has hit 40 homers in each of the past four years, and is on pace again. And moving him to the American League would allow him a chance to DH, too. What would the price be? According to SI's Jon Heyman, it appears the Reds are seeking some of the Rays young pitching prospects, including Jeff Niemann and Jeremy Hellickson.

Dunn isn't the only Reds star outfielder in deadline day chatter, as several outlets have reported Ken Griffey Jr. is likely to get traded to the White Sox (pending his approval).

The Rays could be waiting to see how the Ramirez saga develops - ESPN reported the Ramirez three-way trade has a "50-50 chance" of happening - to see if Bay remains available. But if that deal creeps closer toward the 4 p.m. deadline, the Rays will likely consider many other options.

Stay tuned.....

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

(Pictured: Adam Dunn, top left; and Jason Bay, top right. AP photos. Click to enlarge.)

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:37am]

    

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