In addition to all the rosterbation rumors of Milton Bradley (and the soon-to-be rumored 3 way between Mets, Cubs and Rays) when looking around the league one team sticks out like a sore thumb who matches up best with the Rays needs...and that team is the Oakland Athletics.
Currently they have amazing (and cheap) bullpen depth. They have a young catcher who would look good in a Rays uni. They have SS needs and maybe OF needs. Those happen to be areas of depth for the Rays.
If the Rays truly don't believe they can resign CC or don't think that's the best use of resources, maybe him and Brignac could make a nice package to bring in Kurt Suzuki, Michael Wuertz, and Andrew Bailey. The Rays may have to send along someone like Nick Barnese to complete the deal, but this would be an extremely cheap deal to make, as those three are not likely to bank over 3-5 million combined next season.
Oakland has Joey Devine coming back from Tommy John surgery and latest reports have him way ahead of schedule. They have other young arms that have performed pretty well last year. CC could be Matt Holliday version 2.0 for them, and they'd have their shortstop of the future under lock and key for 6 team-controlled seasons. And if it cost the Rays Nick Barnese to make the deal happen, it would still be worth it, especially if the Rays wanted to dabble in the free agent market. (They'd still have up to 6 mil of what they had budgeted for CC and whatever they were willing to spend in free agency if they didn't make the trade).
Just for fun, this would give the Rays a bullpen of:
Bailey, Howell, Wuertz, Wheeler, Balfour, (Choate), Cormier/Sonny.
Not to mention a catcher who hit for over 50 extra base hits while playing solid defense behind the plate.
The depth for both teams matches each other's needs. And with two free-wheeling GM's in Friedman and Beane, it seems like it might make for an excellent deal waiting to happen. Thoughts?