Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays likely to be active in trade talks

If you believe everything being said, written and blogged, the Rays are deeply immersed in talks for Cleveland ace C.C. Sabathia, are seriously interested in Rockies closer Brian Fuentes and are stalking right-handed hitting outfielders Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Xavier Nady and a half-dozen others.

It's trading season, with the nonwaiver deadline barely a month away, and the one thing that is certain is that the Rays are going to get a lot of play. (Another: They're not going to say much about it.)

Being in contention for the first time, with money to spend to add payroll and a treasure trove of prospects from the game's deepest farm system to offer (at a time when other teams are increasingly reluctant to part with young players), the Rays are going to look into all possibilities. And why not?

Three areas of interest are starting pitching (a veteran to cover for the inconsistencies of Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine?), an experienced late-inning reliever (to provide depth/an alternative given health concerns of Troy Percival and Al Reyes) and a right-handed hitting outfielder (though the potential of getting back Rocco Baldelli complicates things).

As in past years, they have specific players they are targeting, typically ones they can control for several seasons. What's new on their list this year is an extra column of potential "rentals," impact players who could help their playoffs push but are free agents at the end of the season. "With the way we're playing," executive VP Andrew Friedman said, "it makes more sense to have those conversations."

Sabathia — and it's important to note the Indians haven't officially decided to trade him yet — is one. The Rays couldn't afford to sign him but still would at least explore what it would take to make such a deal (and can offer more than so many other teams), knowing they could get two high draft picks as compensation when he leaves. Fuentes is another.

In any case, they'll remain judicious before giving up too much.

"We have supreme confidence in the 25 guys we have in that clubhouse right now, but we have a responsibility to look and examine the market to see if there's an area where we can upgrade," Friedman said. "We wouldn't necessarily characterize ourselves as 'buyers' or 'sellers'; we're going to be looking at it through the same lens that we look at everything, which is to be opportunistic."

Rays likely to be active in trade talks 06/28/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 5, 2008 12:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)