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Maddon: Any new elements must mix in

The Rays may well make some kind of deal (though not necessarily a big deal) before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.

They're at least interested in starting pitching, experienced relief help and a right-handed-hitting outfielder, and you can be sure executive vice president Andrew Friedman and his staff of evaluators and stats guys will research and consider all options.

Ultimately, it's going to come down to price (and not David Price, who isn't going anywhere) and fit.

And while the Rays could make a deal by dipping into their deep pool of prospects (outfielder Fernando Perez's name may come up), there is the matter of taking someone off the team to make room for whomever they're getting.

"Right now, you look at the chemistry of our group, and it's kinda good," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's kinda good, and it's kinda interesting. Everyone's been participating and contributing, so you have to be really careful in that regard to when you do something like that.

"And if you do … I think it has to be visible to the entire group that this person actually is going to make us better, as opposed to just making a move to make a move."

Although Maddon majored in economics at Lafayette College, he's big into chemistry. And players say his relaxed management style — for which he'd been criticized upon arrival in 2006 — is a big part of their success now, such as his 30-minute rule, the amount of time he allots after games to enjoy wins or bemoan losses.

"A lot of people said he never gets upset at anything," Carl Crawford said, "but you look at the situation now and that's really helped so that we know we could move on to the next day and not have to harp on the past."

"That's just the way it is here," Troy Percival said. "It doesn't matter how we win or how we lose, it's exactly the same a half-hour after the game in here. It's almost like guys are already starting to prepare for tomorrow. His demeanor has pretty much overflowed that into here. He doesn't get too high with wins, doesn't get too high with what we've done so far, it's 'come back tomorrow.' "

Maddon: Any new elements must mix in 07/05/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 7, 2008 6:15pm]

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