Two names of note: Park and Thome
Executive VP Andrew Friedman made it clear last week he is happy with the team the Rays have assembled, but they are still looking for ways to improve. That process includes expressing interest in a lot of free agent players remaining on what is quickly shifting to a buyer's market.
The Rays are looking to possibly add another proven reliever to their bullpen, and SI.com's Jon Heyman reports they may have one in their sights - RHP Chan Ho Park. The Cubs are also reported to be interested in the 36-year-old who was 3-3, 4.43 in 45 games for the Phillies last season. Park, though, made $2.5-million last year, and his price likely would have to come down to fit the Rays roster.
And while it still seems they would have to first get rid of current DH Pat Burrell to do anything, Jim Thome became more available on Monday when the White Sox announced they had decided to not bring back the veteran lefty swinger who hit 23 homers in 107 games for the Sox last season. The Rays have interest, but the Twins are considered the favorites. The Chicago Sun Times agrees, saying the Twins now could be the front-runners and that the Tigers are "now sniffing around.''
“We’re still having conversations and trying to figure our ways to improve,'' Friedman said last week. "The one benefit is we like out team right now, but if we can do things that we feel like make us an ever better team then we’ll work hard to try to do that."