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Rays Like Barrett, Rejected Cliff Lee for Delmon


The Padres are considering signing free agent Mike Piazza if Michael Barrett rejects their offer of arbitration. Barrett also is drawing interest from the Marlins, Devil Rays and Orioles, who would need a catcher if they trade Ramon Hernandez. Piazza, 39, spent 2006 with the Padres and hit 22 home runs in 399 at-bats. His .501 slugging percentage that season was his best since '02.

Cleveland Plains Dealer:

The Indians were interested in outfielder Delmon Young before Tampa Bay traded him to the Twins in a six-player trade that sent right-hander Matt Garza to the Rays. The Indians liked Young, and felt he could be the big bat they need at a corner outfield spot.

When the Rays asked for No. 1 prospect Adam Miller - the Tribe's version of Garza - the talks ended.

The Indians may have tried to substitute Cliff Lee, but the $9.5 million they still owe Lee was probably too much for the low-budget Rays.

Right, the only thing wrong with Cliff Lee - besides his 6.29 ERA - would've been his huge contract. I'm sure that's why we didn't want him.


RAYS LEANING LEFT: Having added a closer (Troy Percival), a shortstop (Jason Bartlett) and a No.3 starter (Matt Garza), the Rays say they are aggressively seeking a left-handed hitter.

Now they have to decide exactly what they're looking for, such as whether it's more important he can play the outfield and back up at first base (Darin Erstad, Brad Wilkerson, Mark Sweeney), or third base and first (Mike Lamb, a comebacking Corey Koskie), or outfield and DH (Geoff Jenkins, Cliff Floyd), or DH and first (Tony Clark).

RAYS REPORT: Any interest the Rays had in free-agent C Michael Barrett may be diminished since he was offered arbitration by his previous team, meaning the Rays would have to give up a draft pick if they sign him. ... Reliever Trever Miller was also offered arbitration, but he is a Type B free agent so the Rays wouldn't give up anything.

Lancaster doesn't expect the Rays to be huge players at the meetings, but mentions Luke Scott would really grabs my interest.