MLB Trade Rumors: Tampa Bay Rays Said to Be Looking to Unload B.J Upton

Joseph JonesContributor IIIJuly 20, 2011

Upton, 26, is hitting .237/.319/.411 on the season and is due another raise on this year’s $4.825MM salary in 2012 before hitting free agency.
Upton, 26, is hitting .237/.319/.411 on the season and is due another raise on this year’s $4.825MM salary in 2012 before hitting free agency.Nick Laham/Getty Images

Today just seems to be one full of Rays-related activity.

The perception among teams is that the Rays are ready to move center fielder B.J. Upton now, writes ESPN’s Buster Olney.  Olney believes the Rays “will listen to just about every trade proposal thrown their way” in general. 

He’s of the opinion that the team’s front office faces limited backlash, since attendance is already poor.

Talk about an understatement.

Upton, 26, is hitting .237/.319/.411 on the season and is due another raise on this year’s $4.825 million salary in 2012 before hitting free agency.  He slugged .508 as a 22-year-old in 2007, but .401 in 534 games since.

Defense allows Upton to remain a valuable player, but there is a sense that he hasn’t lived up to his potential. 

Olney imagines the Nationals and Phillies might be potential fits.

I wrote about James Shields' potential availability earlier today.  Olney says Johnny Damon and Casey Kotchman would also make strong trade chips.  The Rays are currently 5.5 games back in the Wild Card, though their schedule eases up after Thursday’s game with the Yankees.

In related Rays news, frustration with Tropicana Field is boiling over, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports thinks MLB should help finance a new stadium.

This article is also featured on You're Killin' Me, Smalls!

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