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Tampa Bay Rays say they're not done rebuilding bullpen

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays equipment/home clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland and his staff Monday loaded the truck headed to Port Charlotte, packing 600 dozen baseballs, 30 dozen bats, 30 cases of shoe polish and full pallets of bubble gum and sunflower seeds.

But not everything will be there when camp opens next week. Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said on WDAE-AM 620's Hot Stove show that he expects restocking of the bullpen to continue not just through the spring but into the regular season.

Friedman said their preference is to add one more "late-inning, kind of high-leverage, good reliever that we have a lot of confidence in," leaving just two spots open for competition, and they will continue looking.

"We feel like it might take us a little bit to find that optimal set-up but that we have very, very capable arms and will continue to have conversations externally as well about augmenting this group," Friedman said.

The Rays are likely to announce today the moves to create roster space for Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez; most likely candidates include Leslie Anderson, Rob Delaney, Mike Ekstrom, Sam Fuld, Jose Lobaton and Justin Ruggiano.

Around the majors

YOUNG WANTS OUT: Michael Young has asked the Rangers to trade him, a request the AL champions are willing to oblige for their career hits leader who is unhappy about his changing role. General manager Jon Daniels, however, said "nothing is imminent." After signing free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre last month, Texas said Young would become the primary DH and serve in a utility role.

In other Rangers news, AL MVP Josh Hamilton, the former Rays prospect, said contract talks are "moving in the right direction" and a two-year deal is possible.

AMATEURS: Former World Series MVP Scott Brosius was named manager of the United States under-18 national team.

DODGERS: The team will wear throwback uniforms honoring its Brooklyn roots for six games this season. Fans can pick from among three uniform choices at www.dodgers.com/throwback. … Infielder Aaron Miles signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.

YANKEES: Third baseman Eric Chavez, 33, a 13-year veteran who has played only 64 games the past three years because of injures, agreed to a minor-league contract.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Rays say they're not done rebuilding bullpen 02/07/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 8:38am]

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