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Rays looking for relief

Update [2006-12-6 23:29:57 by R.J. Anderson]:

from Carter Gaddis

As quiet as the week has been, Friedman remained relatively confident the 40-man roster would have a different look by spring training. "It may be a small trade, it may be a small signing, it may be a bigger signing, it may be a bigger trade," Friedman said. "But I'd say it's 95 percent."

from the Baltimore Sun

The Orioles also have cooled on Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli because of an uncertainty about the asking price. [editor's note, by R.J. Anderson] so much for that folks, but it's good to see we don't feel forced to move Rocco.

Update [2006-12-6 23:7:13 by R.J. Anderson]:

from the Star Tribune

A huge rumor swept through the lobby of the Dolphin Resort early Wednesday: Rocco Baldelli to the Orioles and Hayden Penn and Daniel Cabrera headed to Tampa Bay. Still waiting on that one [editor's note, by R.J. Anderson] Folks, something may be going down....

Update [2006-12-6 22:45:18 by R.J. Anderson]:

from CBS Sportsline

The phone is ringing off the hook in Tampa Bay's suite with clubs inquiring about the availability of center fielder Rocco Baldelli. There's a new rumor surrounding him every day, the latest being that Baltimore had offered starting pitcher Daniel Cabrera and reliever Hayden Penn to the Devil Rays for Baldelli. The only problem: It was completely false, according to a source within Tampa Bay's organization. Clubs are identifying Baldelli in trade talks because, aside from his terrific talent, the Devil Rays are loaded with outfielders: Carl Crawford, Damon Hollins, Elijah Dukes and even B.J. Upton, who might be converted from shortstop to center field. Meanwhile, aside from Baldelli's talent, there's another reason clubs are lusting after him: He's signed through 2008, with club options for 2009, 2010 and 2011, and he only costs $750,000 in salary in '07 and $2.25 million in '08.


Friedman will not discuss specific deals, but noted that the Rays "reached out to a team about a player that we haven't discussed in a while" who "essentially would fit us very well."

from MLB Trade Rumors

The Florida clubs are tossing around a Baldelli/Yusmeiro Petit + prospect type deal. I don't see the Fish getting Baldelli without breaking up their rotation, personally.

from the St. Pete Times

There has been no official word, but there has been plenty of talk and speculation about Devil Rays centerfielder Rocco Baldelli throughout the day Wednesday at the winter meetings.

Among the more interesting rumors are potential deals with a) the Braves, who could offer up lefty Chuck James as part of a package; b) the Orioles, who could offer a combination of Daniel Cabrera, Hayden Penn and Adam Loewen; and c) Dodgers, who could offer any of several top young pitchers, such as Chad Billingsley, and might be more willing to do so after signing top free agent Jason Schmidt.

Other interested teams include the White Sox and the Tigers, though they seem less likely to match up with the Rays. And Florida remains a possibility despite breaking off talks earlier.

But the most interesting chatter was about a potential three-way blockbuster in which Baldelli would go to the Braves, All-Star Andruw Jones would go to the Dodgers and the Rays would end up with a pair of elite young pitchers.

This will continue to develop as the night goes on. It will be interesting to see if the Rays make one of these deals

From Ben

It has become increasingly clear that the Devil Rays are not satisfied heading into 2007 with Seth McClung penciled in as the closer. If McClung is the closer, he will have to earn the job. To make sure he has competition, Tampa Bay spent Day 2 of the winter meetings Tuesday aggressively trying to sign at least one veteran free-agent reliever with closing experience. Octavio Dotel, Russ Springer, David Riske and Keith Foulke are possibilities, with at least two of those pitchers - believed to be Dotel and Springer - having exchanged contract proposals with the Devil Rays

Keep hitting F5 for the latest rumors and (possibly) signings.

DRays Bay elsewhere online...
Our sister network Camden Chat has a piece from RJ on the apple of their eyes, Elijah Dukes, be sure to check that out.