Trade deadline update: No deals
Update 6:00 p.m. Executive VP Andrew Friedman said they had numerous discussions aimed at improving depth leading up to Wednesday’s 4 p.m. nonwaiver trade deadline, but they had no obvious needs and “nothing lined up.” “We’re happy with the guys we have,” he said.
The Rays already acquired All-Star RHP Jesse Crain on Monday, but Friedman said they had no “glaring” issues to address, and liked their depth at Triple-A, so they were able to be selective. Friedman did point out that a lot of their big offseason deals were started around this deadline, so recent talks could “lead to things down the road.”
UPDATE, 4:07: The deadline passes with the Rays not making any deals, though they were in several conversations.
UPDATE, 3:09: With less an hour to go, Rays are "still talking" but there is "nothing to report" on any deal.
UPDATE, 2:25: The Rays remain active in trade talks, seeking ways to "reinforce" their depth. Per one source, it's "tough to handicap odds" of a deal by 4 pm. They have some interest in Seattle's Michael Morse, as has been reported, and also possibly in Kendry Morales or Raul Ibanez.
The Orioles are among other teams talking to the Mariners.
Also, it sounds like Roberts is here, or on his way, in a taxi-squad move unrelated to a trade. May be that an active player is a possibility for the DL and Roberts is here if move is made.
DEVELOPING: With baseball's 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver trades approaching, the Rays are talking about making another deal, presumably for a bat.
And, in the words of one source, it could be a big deal at least by Rays standards.
That was the word as of late Tuesday, and there has been little new yet this morning.
Adding to the intrigue, INF Ryan Roberts was pulled from Triple-A Durham's game on Tuesday with the explanation that he may be joining the Rays today.
Whether that is to replace a player they trade away (Matt Joyce? Sean Rodriguez? Kelly Johnson?) or to be included in a deal or as part of an unrelated transaction is not clear.
While the Rays seem unlikely to trade any of their starting pitchers, they do have some bullpen depth following the addition of RHP Jesse Crain and could move Kyle Farnsworth, whose roster spot may be in jeopardy anyway with Roberto Hernandez potentially headed to the pen, and with Brandon Gomes set to come off the DL.
If the Rays are going to get a hitter, he presumably would be used in leftfield and/or at DH.
They are set across the infield and in center- and rightfield. Luke Scott has become somewhat productive at DH, but they used several players in left - Joyce (who has been slumping miserably, hitting .169 with two extra-base hits over his last 32 games), Johnson, Rodriguez and Sam Fuld (who is also their backup centerfielder and top pinch-runner).
Also, any target most likely would be a veteran in the last year of his contract or a young player who they can control for several seasons.
Among veteran names to at least speculate on are Raul Ibanez, Michael Morse, David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz and, at higher costs, Hunter Pence ($13.8-million salary) and Justin Morneau ($14-million salary).