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Rays decline options on Floyd, Miller

Reliever Trever Miller, left, who held left-handers to a .209 average, and DH Cliff Floyd, who helped with his bat and leadership, are free agents but might return to the Rays.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Reliever Trever Miller, left, who held left-handers to a .209 average, and DH Cliff Floyd, who helped with his bat and leadership, are free agents but might return to the Rays.

The Rays have declined to exercise options on DH Cliff Floyd and left-handed reliever Trever Miller for the 2009 season, making both free agents.

But Tampa Bay hasn't ruled out both returning next season, depending on how things play out throughout the winter. Floyd's option was for $2.75-million, with a buyout of $250,000; Miller's was $2-million, with a $400,000 buyout.

When reached Monday, Floyd, 35, said he'd be open to discussing options with the Rays and would rehab from potential shoulder surgery to be ready for spring training if the right situation came up.

Floyd was acquired as a free agent before last season and had a big role in the clubhouse and on the field, hitting 11 homers with 39 RBIs in 80 games. He tore the labrum in his right shoulder during the World Series and had to be taken off the postseason roster.

No matter how it turns out, Floyd was thrilled to be part of the Rays' remarkable turnaround from worst to the World Series, where they lost four games to one to the Phillies.

"It was awesome, man," Floyd said. "If this is the way I'm supposed to go out, it's unbelievable. The guys were great, we had a great time. Everybody in the organization is first-class. We went through a lot this year; we grew up as a team and as a family. And it was a treat to be around guys that really wanted to work hard and make this change. I'm definitely happy to be part of it."

Miller, 35, in his second stint with the Rays, went 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 68 games with two saves as primarily a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. Miller, who has appeared in at least 60 games the past six seasons, was on the mound Sept. 20 when the Rays clinched their first-ever postseason berth with a win over the Twins.

Miller couldn't be reached for comment, but Floyd left the door open for a return.

"You never know what will happen," Floyd said. "I can come back at a different rate; I can come back (at) a less amount. We'll see what direction they go in.

"If it sounds good and everybody's happy, you'll see me in camp."

Floyd and Miller join outfielders Rocco Baldelli and Eric Hinske as Rays free agents. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, the Rays outrighted backup catcher Michel Hernandez, who has cleared waivers, to Triple-A Durham.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

Rays decline options on Floyd, Miller 11/03/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:37pm]
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