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Bay to Bay? Stay Tuned ...

Posted Jul 30, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Jul 30, 2008 at 05:27 PM

TORONTO—As the clock ticks toward 24 hours until the non-waiver trade deadline, talks inevitably heat up. And it sounds as if the Rays might be able to make a pretty significant move.

Tampa Bay has been in discussions with the Pirates about outfielder Jason Bay, though the teams are not believed to be on the verge of a deal. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first reported today that the Pirates are “deep into trade talks” with the Rays and “other parties” about Bay.

Updating at 2:20 p.m.: The Post-Gazette has an update that specifically mentions Reid Brignac and Jeremy Hellickson as possibilities. I don’t imagine there’s any way the Rays would give up both in this deal, and I don’t know that they’d even surrender Hellickson, period. Brignac, I can see. The P-G also indicates the Cardinals might be in the mix for Bay.

Earlier today, Rays manager Joe Maddon pegged his team’s chances of making a deal before tomorrow at a “solid 50-50”, which could be taken as an uptick from his prediction last week that it was “50-50 at best” the Rays would make a trade.

“There are still some things on the table, and they’re interesting, actually, so we’ll see,’’ Maddon said. “I mean really interesting, possibly.’‘

The 29-year-old Bay—an All-Star in 2005 and 2006 and the NL Rookie of the Year in 2004—is enjoying a resurgence this season after a rough 2007. He is hitting .284 with 22 homers and 62 RBIs and is a right-handed bat. Oddly enough, though, he has hit far better against right-handed pitchers this season—.308, as opposed to just .193 against lefties—but his career totals show a more even split—.283 against righties and .277 against lefties.

Also in question is where he would play. A left fielder by trade, he has made only one big-league appearance in right field, but you would think the Rays would put him in right as opposed to asking Carl Crawford to move if they were to get him.

There is no word on what type of return the Pirates might be seeking, but the Rays aren’t inclined to give up any of their top-tier prospects in such a deal.

This could get fairly interesting over the next day.

As for today’s game, here are the lineups, with Cliff Floyd getting a day off after the quick turnaround from last night:

Iwamura 2B
Upton CF
Crawford LF
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Hinske DH
Navarro C
Gross RF
Bartlett SS
Jackson P

Blue Jays
Inglett 2B
Scutaro 3B
Rios CF
Overbay 1B
Stairs DH
Lind LF
Wilkerson RF
Zaun C
McDonald SS
Richmond P

Reader Comments

Por (John Tibby) on July 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think Jason Bay and LHP John Grabow for P Jeff Niemann, Mitch Talbot, SS Reid Brignac and OF Fernando Perez makes sense for both teams. I would give second-tier prospects for Bay but David Price and Wade Davis to me are untouchables. The Rays need a right handed bat bad and Bay can be the everyday right-fielder they need. Jonny Gomes bating under .200 isn’t cutting it.

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Por (wags) on July 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Francour is the guy I would being after right about now not Bay as Atlanta seems to want prospects .... I also think I would unload Upton and Jackson for a solid proven starter and do what they should have done months ago and turn Balfour into the closer here that guy is nasty

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Por (Mike) on July 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I agree about Jackson when he’s on, he’s on.  But that hasn’t been too common lately.  But not Upton.  I think Maddon’s “talk” with the team a few days ago about not hustling could have been directed at him and let’s see if it works.
As far as your comments about Balfour—right on the money.  That Aussie is the epitome of focus and intensity.  Let’s hope he keeps it up.

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Por (Eugene McColgan) on July 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Wags, take a breath!  As much as BJ drives me nuts with the called third strikes and the hustle when I want to stuff, he has way too much talent to let go for something less!  He is still young and as long as he isn’t doing the Manny Ramirez trot down the baseline, he deseerves to stay.  Hopefully Cliff, Eric, Percy and now even Carl can lead him by example.  The W today looked good on the computer!  If we can get Bay at a reasonable price (not Price!) that would be good.  Otherwise, we are so far ahead of schedule, there is no need to go overboard.

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Por (Daniel Wynne) on July 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

get rid of UPset oops I mean upton and bring in bay

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Por (Wags) on July 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Ahead of what schedule ... I thought every team sets the goal to win the series anything less then that is WHAT? Look I agree the Rays were so poorly run they have had numerous #1 picks and alot are elsewhere and this team is in 1st place and I am telling you this team can live without Upton and I for one would rather have a less talented guy who tries then a spoiled player who is just a waste of talent. It isn`t like Upton is going to be Soriano at the end of the day. Jeff Francoeur is the natural right fielder not Bay and I would have package some type of deal for Teixeira and signed that guy to a LONG TERM DEAL

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