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Winter meetings report: AL East gets tougher



It's late afternoon but that's still early in the day here at the winter meetings.

No real news involving the Rays yet anyway, though Andrew Friedman has been going into different meetings, but plenty of related moves and rumors.

Among the more interesting:

* The addition of 1B Adrian Gonzalez by the Red Sox and 3B Mark Reynolds by the Orioles adds two premium hitters to the AL East.

* Both the Padres and Orioles remain interested in acquiring a shortstop through trade, which gives the Rays options as they look to deal Jason Bartlett.

* Add the Blue Jays to the list of teams interested in free-agent 1B Carlos Pena, with ESPN's Gordon Edes reporting they are serious.

* The Rays have competition in the building-a-bullpen department, as the D-backs, even after acquiring two relievers from the Orioles, are looking for more help.

 * Kevin Kennedy, working the meetings for Sirius/XM radio, said he was surprised when the Rays didn't bring him back for a third season as their TV analysts (there was a mutual option) and that he was willing to increase his workload from 100 to 150 games. The Rays instead made Brian Anderson full time.

* Former Rays reliever Joe Nelson is at the meetings, having retired as a player but now looking for work in a front office, preferably as a special assistant. Nelson used to come to the meetings as a player when he was looking for a new team, and said it's only slightly different  now. "Same thing I used to do before, but now I have to dress a little nicer.''


[Last modified: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 12:15am]


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