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)

Tampa Bay Rays appear to have interest in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee

CHICAGO — With little financial flexibility and a premium on their own prospects, the Rays don't seem likely to make any big deals leading up to the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline.

But executive vice president Andrew Friedman said he would be creative and explore all options. And word around the game Wednesday was he was doing exactly that with reports the Rays are interested in the two premier available starting pitchers, Cleveland's Cliff Lee and Toronto's Roy Halladay.

Manager Joe Maddon wouldn't name names but didn't discourage the speculation that Friedman was making inquiries.

"He's got some interesting things out there," Maddon said. "We've talked about different things. You know him. He's always got good ideas, and he's definitely willing to take the plunge if somebody else is.

"It's all good stuff. But like most years, nothing ever happens. So we'll just see. And if nothing happens, I am fine. I'm good with our group."

Friedman — without discussing specifics — said he was just doing what he is supposed to do.

"We are always very active in conversations this time of year and this year is no exception,'' he said. "As we have said, we have supreme confidence in the 25 guys we have but we'll continue to have conversations in the event something lines up."

ESPN's Buster Olney reported the Rays are looking at Halladay, who pitches against them Friday in Toronto, but "it's very, very unlikely" they'll make a deal "because of their financial constraints" and how important their prospects are to future success.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal had the Rays in on Lee and Halladay, reporting they were "engaged in a whirlwind of activity" that involved "major, major stuff," but also noted that "payroll flexibility remains a significant obstacle."

Lee, the 2008 Cy Young winner, is making $5.75 million in the final year of his contract and has a $9 million option for 2010. Halladay requires a much larger commitment as he makes $14.25 million this season and $15.75 million in 2010 and has a no-trade clause.

Minor-league RHP Wade Davis and INF Reid Brignac are likely to be a prime target in any major trade. The Rays also might have to clear payroll space by trading from their team.

PAIN IN THE BACK: RHP Chad Bradford said the lower back stiffness that forced him from the game without throwing a pitch came "kind of out of nowhere."

The Rays will wait until today to see how he is. Bradford said he hopes it is just a spasm, but he had a similar problem in 2005 that led to surgery.

"Hopefully, it's just a bump in the road,'' he said.

MOUND DUTY: LHP Scott Kazmir is set to start today, having gotten past the tightness in his left forearm from the cramping that forced him from Saturday's game. He was pitching well at the time and expects to continue improving since rebuilding his mechanics.

"It feels like I've got my fastball back," he said. "It feels like my body is cooperating. It feels like my body is doing what I want it to do. I'm not fighting myself any more. Hopefully, I get the feel a little bit more for my slider and just kind of go with it."

Kazmir said he won't be under any limitations today, but because the cramp was caused by dehydration, he planned to start drinking lots of fluids Wednesday night and would have a bottle of water at his side between innings.

MISCELLANY: 2B Ben Zobrist extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games. … DH Pat Burrell has now homered in 30 ballparks. … RHP James Shields hasn't won since June 20. … Before Tuesday, the Rays were one of four teams without a win when trailing after eight innings. The Cardinals, Nationals and White Sox still are.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Tampa Bay Rays appear to have interest in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee 07/22/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 6:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

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

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …