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Tampa Bay Rays still keeping an eye on the waiver wire

ANAHEIM, Calif. — In adding veteran C Gregg Zaun and RH reliever Russ Springer through waiver wire moves, executive VP Andrew Friedman felt the Rays strengthened themselves where they most needed the help and aren't likely to make further acquisitions.

But that doesn't mean they'll stop looking.

As long as they're trailing the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers, they have priority in claiming players they think could help them, as well as players that perhaps they don't want their competitors to get but that the Rays could end up with and have to pay.

All of which makes the waiver process — which by rule is supposed to be confidential — even more challenging.

"For the most part the players that we claim, we'd be happy if we got them," Friedman said before Monday's game.

"But it's a fine line. And, obviously, we don't have the same resources that the Red Sox and Yankees do. So, yeah, it's definitely a calculated gamble and it's something we go through in great detail, but for the most part I think our philosophy has been that we're claiming guys we'd be happy to get."

Several national media reports have characterized the Rays being very active in claiming players (who can and often are pulled back by their teams), and Friedman didn't say anything to dispute that assessment.

"The only advantage to being in third place was the ability to kind of play defense a little bit, but our hope is we're not in that position for too much longer and that we lose that ability," he said. "But while we have it, we'll continue to do what we've done."

Percy file: RHP Troy Percival planned to join the Rays for Monday's game but was delayed because of the recovery of parts of his vintage truck that was stolen in the spring.

Manager Joe Maddon confirmed that Percival won't come back this season but didn't want to address beyond that: "I don't want to speak for him exactly what he's thinking for next year, but for this year it's pretty much a moot point." Percival is expected at the stadium today.

Rehab report: RHP Chad Bradford (stiff back) is scheduled for back-to-back outings with Class A Charlotte tonight and Wednesday, and if all goes well, he could rejoin the Rays this weekend. … 2B Akinori Iwamura (left knee) continues to impress, and the Rays today will draft a rehab schedule, likely for close to the full 20 days.

Draft chatter: Friedman was talking pregame with agent Scott Boras, and it's likely they were chatting about No. 1 draft pick LeVon Washington, whom the Rays have until Aug. 17 to sign. The Rays' top five picks are unsigned.

Miscellany: The Rays are 1-11 in their past 12 games in Anaheim. … The stolen base by Bobby Abreu in the third was only the second of the season allowed by Matt Garza. … 1B Carlos Peña has homered in three of his last four games and is tied with Mark Teixeira for the AL lead with 29. … The player going to the Orioles to complete the Zaun deal likely won't be named until the end of the week. … RHP Andy Sonnanstine improved to 4-1, 3.46 at Triple-A Durham.

Tampa Bay Rays still keeping an eye on the waiver wire 08/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 2:46am]
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