The Rays Tank: Jeff Keppinger Bruised; Carlos Lee Traded; Cole Hamels On The Block

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 4: Infielder Jeff Keppinger #7 of the Tampa Bay Rays is hit by an inside pitch against the New York Yankees July 4, 2012 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

I neglected to mention this in the recap, but Jeff Keppinger left last night's game early after being hit in the arm with a pitch. Thankfully, it doesn't look like the injury is anything serious; the x-rays were negative, so Keppinger is merely day-to-day with a bruised tricep.It's not great, but it's certainly better than most of the injury news the Rays have received this season.

For it being a holiday yesterday, it was still quite the active day in the baseball world. In particular, Carlos Lee was traded from the Houston Astros to the Miami Marlins in exchange for two prospects, Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen. You can find brief scouting reports on the two prospects from Kevin Goldstein over at BPro, the short story is that neither player is an incredible prospect. Dominguez used to be a top prospect in the Marlins' system and his defense at third base is still Gold Glove caliber, but his bat has never developed. He's still young, though, so the Astros are taking a gamble and will get a chance to see if he can pan out.

The other bit of news -- in my mind, at least -- is that we're beginning to see the trade market for the deadline start to take shape. Rumors have been picking up in recent weeks and players have been tossed around as possibly available, but in my entirely arbitrary judgement, now we're beginning to get a solid idea of which big players will be available. Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke, and Wandy Rodriguez have been tossed around as two ace pitchers that may be available for large enough packages, which may put a bit of a damper on the "Trade Shields!" contingent. Of course, it's possible the market may not be much better come the offseason, but that's some stiff competition.

As for B.J. Upton, that front is a bit more promising: there are few centerfielders currently being tossed around in trade rumors, although Peter Bourjos is tentatively being mentioned as a trade possibility. So we'll see what shakes up over the next few weeks, but even with B.J.'s disappointing season thus far, there's a chance he may be one of the better outfield options available.

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