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Rays Could Trade Scott Kazmir To Clear Room For Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay or Victor Martinez

While it may come as a shock to most of the baseball world, trading Scott Kazmir is something we've talked about ad nauseum here. Last night we learned from early deadline MVP, Ed Price, that the Rays could move Kazmir (possibly to the Los Angeles Angels) to clear some payroll space for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay or Victor Martinez.

Kazmir is owed the rest of his $6 million dollar 2009 salary. If moved, he would definitely clear enough space for Lee, who is making less money than Kaz this year ($5.75 million). Kazmir would also get a bonus of $800k if traded. After this year, he is owed at least 2 years/$22.5 million dollars.

Price also mentions that Andrew Friedman is "eager to do something." If you take the rumors at face value, he's definitely trying. In the last 24 hours, no team has been more talked about more than the Rays. Earlier in the day, Jon Heyman reported that the Rays have joined AL East Rival, Boston Red Sox, in talks for Victor Martinez.

To say Martinez would be an upgrade over Dioner Navarro might be the understatement of the year. He is hitting .291/.371/.475 with 36 extra base hits and has as many walks as strikeouts. If he is traded his 2009 salary jumps from $5.7 million to $6.2 million (pro-rated of course) and his 2010 price tag rises from $7.0 million to $7.5 million. There is also a $250k buyout, meaning the Rays could cut him loose after the season.

A week away from the deadline there are a lot of names, rumors and ideas being tossed around. If you remember last year, the Rays were rumored in many trades and did nothing. This year, it seems there is a bit more urgency, but payroll issues may put a stop to any potential moves. There's going to be a ton of reports about potential trades and just as many reports saying nothing will happen. Regardless of what happens during the next seven days, I can guarantee you it won't be boring around these parts.

Additional Quick hits

  • It was reported that Roy Halladay would waive his no trade clause to play for the Rays.
  • Fueling the Kazmir/Angels rumors are reports from multiple sources that the Rays have beens scouting the Angels minor league system.
  • One potential relief target, Rafael Betancourt was traded to the Colorado Rockies.
  • Andy Sonnanstine, who was also suggested as a potential target of the Angels, returned to the mound last night.

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