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 ready to talk trades, with Boxberger popular

Reliever Brad Boxberger is likely be the most sought-after Rays player.

Getty Images

Reliever Brad Boxberger is likely be the most sought-after Rays player.

ST. PETERSBURG — Most speculation leading to the July 31 deadline for nonwaiver trades will be on who the Rays could get to bolster their offense.

But they are more likely to trade away a player from their current big-league roster, specifically one of their top relievers, even if they remain in the playoff race, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

RHP Brad Boxberger, who has 24 saves and an All-Star selection on his resume, is likely to be the most sought after, and thus have the highest price tag, given his contract status. Boxberger will get only a slight raise from his $521,400 salary next season before the big bump that comes with arbitration eligibility in 2017.

LHP Jake McGee also will be a popular subject of conversation, given his overpowering fastball and impressive work since returning from elbow surgery, including 20 straight scoreless outings and a 1.19 ERA. McGee is getting pricey by Rays standards, in line for a raise from $3.55 million to in excess of $5 million next season, though appealing to other teams since he is not eligible for free agency until 2018.

RHP Kevin Jepsen, acquired in December from the Angels, could be the most likely to go, with a solid 2.88 ERA and five saves in high leverage duty. He, too, is expected to jump past $5 million next season after making $3,025,000, and is eligible for free agency in 2017.

The Rays, as usual, are willing to talk about any player on their roster and will explore numerous potential deals, typically preferring to add younger talent.

ARCHED UP: All-Star ace RHP Chris Archer is starting tonight because he wanted to, preferring to stay on a five-day schedule even though the Rays had Thursday off. RHP Erasmo Ramirez moved back to Saturday.

"I just indirectly let (manager Kevin) Cash know that I'd like to pitch every five days as much as I possibly can just to impact the team while I'm feeling good," Archer said.

"There may come a point in the season where (injured LHP Drew) Smyly comes back and there's a lot of off-days in August and I might ask if I can get six days. But the All-Star break rejuvenated me and my body feels good. So I kind of said I can throw every fifth day, I don't need an extra day if it works out for the team."

MISCELLANY: Tonight marks the official launch of the Honor Pass program, in which the team is providing two free tickets to military personnel for all remaining home games. For more information, see … Second-round draft pick C Chris Betts tweeted that he had his Tommy John right elbow surgery on Thursday. … How Smyly (shoulder) felt after a scheduled Thursday bullpen session will dictate whether he advances to start a rehab assignment. … FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher will throw out the first pitch Sunday.

Rays ready to talk trades, with Boxberger popular 07/23/15 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2015 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 1997 USF Bulls: Keith Williams proof it's never too late to finish degree


    Keith Williams shows off the bachelor's degree he received last year in interdisciplinary studies from Hodges.
  2. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps


    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)
  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Scott McCready trades green and gold for black belts


    USF WR Scott McCready (16) attempts to get past Jacksonville State LB Duriel Hardrick (31) durin a Sept. 2, 2000 game. (Times 2000)
  4. 1997 USF Bulls: Cory Porter regains passion for game 10,000 miles away


    Brian Surcy (25) and Cory Porter (80) celebrate USF's first victory, against Kentucky Wesleyan. (Times 1997)
  5. Revisiting the inaugural 1997 USF Bulls football roster


    The 1997 USF football team. (University of South Florida, USF Bulls)