Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays (again) unlikely to be a player at trade deadline

The Rays will do plenty of talking over the next 3½ weeks until the nonwaiver trading deadline because they always do. But come July 31, there's a pretty good chance they won't do anything.

The Rays usually aren't big players at the July deadline anyway, preferring to do their business in the broader off­season market.

And this year, assuming no further injuries to key players, a deal seems even less likely because they don't have any obvious needs to fill.

"I'm good with what we've got," manager Joe Maddon said. "With good health, I think we're fine."

Not that there won't be plenty of scouting, researching and discussing, accompanied by the requisite spreading of rumors.

"We are in the process of collecting as much info as we can to see what makes the most sense for us in the short term," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "We feel like we have pretty good coverage from a depth standpoint in house. That said, we will be very thorough in working through the market to see if there are clear ways for us to upgrade using some of our positions of strength to address areas that aren't as strong."

They would have to be intrigued by the chance, albeit extremely unlikely, for a significant upgrade at catcher or DH, though that would be tricky anyway given Evan Longoria's uncertain availability to play third.

Bullpens can always use a boost, but the Rays have several internal options, including Brandon Gomes, Josh Lueke, Alex Colome and the rehabbing Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez).

In a way, the Rays already have made two acquisitions, with the promotion of outfielder Wil Myers to the lineup, and the return of left-hander David Price to the rotation. (With the hope of getting right-hander Alex Cobb back.)

Barring a massive skid that drops them from contention, they'd be unlikely to dump anyone, either. So basically, what you see now is likely what the Rays have got for the rest of the season.

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