TORONTO — With the efforts to bolster the bullpen help becoming perhaps their primary trade focus heading toward Thursday's deadline, the Rays didn't have any room for a reliever who hadn't been much help in Gary Glover.
So with the veteran right-hander over the left calf strain that sidelined him since July 11, the Rays — at least temporarily — parted ways, reinstating him from the DL on Monday and designating him for assignment.
"Gary has been a big part of our bullpen the last year and a half," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said from St. Petersburg. "With various guys healthy, it became a numbers game but it certainly wasn't an easy decision."
Because Glover, who is making $1.075-million this season, is out of options, the Rays couldn't send him directly to the minors. By designating him, they have 10 days to trade, release or get him through waivers, which could allow them to keep him at Triple-A Durham.
Though Glover's numbers weren't very good — a 5.82 ERA, .300 opponents average, and a whopping 61 baserunners in 34 innings — manager Joe Maddon believes he is on the verge of a good run, and hopes the Rays can keep him in the organization and bring him up again, much as they did earlier with Grant Balfour.
"There's just no room in the inn right now," Maddon said. "There's no real complicated explanation. I like him and he fits in well here.
"The second half of last year I thought he pitched really well. He hasn't hit that stride yet, but he did the same thing. … This year he hasn't had as much opportunity to get hot. But I think right now physically he's throwing the ball as well as he was throwing last year when he did get hot. So it's not good not having him here because I think he's about ready to pitch well."
TRADE WINDS: Friedman said only that trade conversations are continuing, and if even half of the reports and speculation about the Rays were true he has plenty to talk about.
The Rays have been seriously interested in Colorado lefty reliever Brian Fuentes, but among other options could be Atlanta's Will Ohman, who is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA.
The list of hitters the Rays have been linked to or reported (or rumored, speculated and in some cases probably imagined) to have interest in has been growing exponentially in recent days, including some that are interesting (Atlanta's Jeff Franceour) to some familiar ones (San Francisco's Randy Winn, an ex-Ray) to some that might require some lineup creativity (Atlanta's Mark Teixeira, Texas' Milton Bradley) to some that might only work as part of three-way deals (Seattle's Adrian Beltre, say to Minnesota for Michael Cuddyer?) to some that don't seem to make any sense (Los Angeles' Jeff Kent).
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Cliff Floyd's 0-for-5 on Friday can be forgiven. He found out just before batting practice that his third child was on the way, but with no flights available from Kansas City to Tampa, he played anyway, then spent an anxious night at the hotel, took two flights and a cab to the hospital and arrived an hour after his wife, Maryanne, delivered their daughter, Layla.
MISCELLANY: CF B.J. Upton said he thought he had Brad Wilkerson's eighth-inning liner that turned into a triple and was committed to diving, but it kept curling away: "The closer I got the further it kept going to rightfield.'' … The Rays adjusted OF Rocco Baldelli's rehab schedule at Double-A Montgomery so he'll play more against left-handers; he came off the bench Monday and went 1-for-2, making him 8-for-17 his past six games. Also, David Price improved to 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA with the Biscuits. … RHP Matt Garza is excited about matching up tonight with Jays ace Roy Halladay for the second time in 11 days: "It's going to be toe-to-toe, I'm going to race him to seven (innings) again."