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Topkin: Rays "cautiously optimistic" on getting big bat

Quick hits from Topkin's weekly column

The Rays remain "cautiously optimistic" they'll be able to get the kind of big bat they crave for the middle of their lineup, and there are a couple of reasons they feel that way.

Friedman on the market

"We've got a priority order on these guys, and the guys that we feel like fit us extremely well are still on the board and their agents aren't at a point where they're forcing things along," he said. "Depending on who does and at what juncture may expedite things for us depending on where that player ranks."

Same names...

Jason Giambi still appears the most likely fit, though the A's are ready to begin talks. Milton Bradley remains of much interest, but the Cubs might be tough competition. Bobby Abreu is pricing himself out of their market if he truly expects three years and $48-million. Garret Anderson, Pat Burrell, Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey are among other possibilities.

All in all very positive stuff. And this little note on "the face."

Former Rays C Josh Paul will manage the Yankees' short-season Class A Staten Island team.

R.J. is still waiting on Paul's book