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Rays Trade Rumors: James Shields, B.J. Upton, Carlos Pena

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Will Continued Losing Lead to Sell-Off?

Buster Olney of ESPN reports that if the Tampa Bay Rays continue losing, they could make veteran players such as James Shields, B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena available:

If the Rays continue to lose, they could become a very interesting player in the pre-deadline deals, because they could market James Shields, B.J. Upton, Carlos Pena, etc.

If there's something we've learned about the Rays, it's this: They will be decisive, and they will be aggressive. If they decide they are not good enough, they will look to maximize the value of their organizational assets.

Olney notes that while the Rays have been perennial winners, they "don’t have the same box-office pressure that teams like the Phillies do, in deciding whether to buy or sell."

Olney suggests that Tampa Bay will be decisive and look to maximize the value of organizational assets if they don’t think they’re good enough to compete this season.

To add to the pressure to make a move, both Upton and Pena are set to hit the free agent market following the season. Shields could also become available, though the Rays hold $9 and $12 million team options for the 2013-14 seasons which include buyouts of $1.5 and $1 million.