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What's new: The A's are rebuilding again, accumulating prospects for a potential future run while adding a few veterans, such as outfielders Coco Crisp and Seth Smith, and picking up 3B Brandon Inge. Cuban defector OF Yoenis Cespedes has been exciting, though cooling from a hot start. The pitching can still be impressive, though perfect-game pitcher Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson are on the DL. C Kurt Suzuki could be a potential Rays trade target.
Key stat: The A's have already used 34 players, including 11 rookies, both major-league highs. They have seven rookies on the roster (and could have another with OF Michael Taylor set to join them).
Connections: A's RHP Grant Balfour and OF/DH Jonny Gomes are former Rays, as is trainer Nick Paparesta. … Rays OF Brandon Allen, 1B Carlos Peña, RHP Joel Peralta were with Oakland.
Series history: A's lead 81-48, including 35-29 at the Trop. Rays are 23-22 in last five seasons.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer