Tampa Bay Rays: Willing to Deal Anyone, Acquire Pitcher or Catcher at Deadline?
Given the team's position right in the thick of the American League playoff race, it is somewhat surprising that the Rays project as possible sellers at this year's trade deadline.
Sure, names like B.J. Upton and James Shields are something of rumor mill fixtures these days, but it now seems like nearly everyone on the team's roster outside of David Price, Evan Longoria and Matt Moore could be up for grabs.
While that short list of exclusions suggests that almost anyone could be heading out the door, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the team knows precisely what it wants to acquire before July 30.
Yesterday, Knobler tweeted that the "Rays are a fascinating team to watch. Could trade starters (anyone but Price, Moore), relievers, Upton. Looking for young catcher, pitchers."
But just because a team is open to dealing a player does not mean that they are eager to do so. You can be fairly certain that the Rays won't be parting with Jeremy Hellickson, or Shields or Upton for that matter, for cheap.
It will be interesting to see whether the squad is active as the deadline approaches, and if so, whether the assets sold off will be used to acquire other assets or prospects.
The logical assumption is that the team would require some major league-ready talent to give away a starting position player or pitcher, but it is not inconceivable that a pitcher (like Shields) may be traded for a package of prospects.
If Chris Archer is thought to be ready to fill the void left by a starter, then the Rays will have no shortage of directions to choose from.
Regardless of how it all pans out, the Rays will be one of the most intriguing teams to keep an eye on heading towards the deadline.
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