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Rays Looking to Add a Shortstop, Late Innings Reliever


At the winter meetings next week, the Rays' primary goals are to get a shortstop to help improve the defense and at least one established late-innings reliever.

The payroll is expected to rise to the mid $30-million range and Friedman reiterated that they would have the flexibility to spend more in the right situation.

Though Akinori Iwamura will spend most of spring training at second base, he could end up back on third to open the season if team officials decide prospect Evan Longoria needs more time in the minors.

OF Rocco Baldelli continues to have medical tests but the Rays are "cautiously optimistic" he can be the primary DH next season.

With competition heating up for free-agent shortstop Cesar Iztruris (sic), the Rays appear to be looking more at the trade market and are having active talks.

Here's a nice post summarizing the trade market for late inning relievers.