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Tampa Bay Rays have several options for improving offense going into winter meetings

LAS VEGAS — There are a number of ways the Rays can try to improve their offense. And that's one of the reasons they haven't done anything yet.

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman arrives at the winter meetings today with a plan — actually, several — to bolster their attack.

His stated goal is to acquire a frontline rightfielder and/or DH (though probably not two "impact" bats), but, as he showed in dealing Delmon Young last year, he's open to anything.

He loves young players with upside and has done extremely well shopping among February free agent bargains, but this year, in a down market, he is willing to consider some big names and upper- (though not quite top-) shelf options.

He's talking trades but is more open than ever to signing a free agent (thus paying only in dollars and not players, too). A right-handed hitter seems the better fit, but the right lefty would work, too.

"There's a lot of different ways we can go," Friedman said. "And the first move will help clear up the bottleneck a little bit and send us down a path with a lot fewer options than we're looking at right now."

Then they'll have a better idea what complementary pieces they need, whether free agent Rocco Baldelli (or Eric Hinske or Cliff Floyd) can fit, and how extensive (and expensive) a bullpen renovation they can do.

Tampa Bay Rays have several options for improving offense going into winter meetings 12/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 11, 2008 11:21am]

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