Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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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: