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No Dotel, but Rocco remains for now

The Rays left the winter meetings with several trade options to consider and without free agent closer Octavio Dotel, who passed on their offer in search of a better deal with the Indians, Red Sox or Royals.

The Rays talked again with the Braves about centerfielder Rocco Baldelli, who is also under consideration by the Orioles, White Sox and Tigers, but are not considered close to any deals.

"There were some interesting things for us to take back and discuss internally and see what makes the most sense for us," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said.

With Dotel out, they will consider offers to free agents Russ Springer and David Riske, but also pursue trade options.

Veteran reliever Travis Harper, who was arbitration-eligible, was released Thursday to create roster space but could be re-signed to a minor-league deal. Harper was 2-0 with a 4.93 ERA in 30 games but didn't pitch the final two months because of a shoulder impingement.

Also, the Rays have resumed negotiations to sign Japanese infielder Akinori Iwamura before the Dec. 15 deadline

A GAIN? If catcher Toby Hall is let go, as expected, by the Dodgers next week, the Rays are likely to offer him a minor-league deal.

A LOSS? Right-hander Nick DeBarr was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Red Sox, who will consider him for a bullpen job.

DeBarr, 23, was 4-3 with a 2.74 ERA and nine saves in 40 games for Class A Visalia, impressing the Sox with his approach and his attitude. DeBarr, a 14th-round pick in 2002, missed the 2005 season after Tommy John surgery. The Rays planned for him to start the season at Double A and would get him back if the Sox decide not to keep him and he clears waivers.

The Rays had the first pick in the draft and took outfielder Ryan Goleski, but they were making the pick for the A's and received $100,000 for the transaction.

In the minor-league draft, the Rays took outfielder Erold Andrus (Twins) and pitcher Paul Moviel (White Sox) and lost pitcher Nick Moran (Reds).

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