- According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinal, the Marlins were willing to part with Scott Olsen and some lesser prospects for Rocco Baldelli. It had originally been thought that the Rays were seeking Olsen and had been offered Ricky Nolasco. Now it appears that the Rays may actually have been asking been asking for both Olsen and Nolasco. The article states that talks fell apart when the Rays asked for two members of the Marlins starting rotation. This comes after news that the Rays rejected an offer of Ricky Nolasco for B. J. Upton. Now, Peter Gammons is reporting that the Marlins and the Red Sox may be close to a deal that would send center fielder David Murphy to Miami for a pitcher.
- After talks with the Marlins fell apart, the Rays then turned their attention to the Atlanta Braves. It had been rumored that the Rays were holding out for lefty Chuck James but that the Braves were only willing to part with Kyle Davies. Now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the Braves may in fact have offered Kyle Davies and shortstop Yunel Escobar, whom the Rays apparently covet as possibly their future starting shortstop (what about Reid Brignac?). The Braves may also be trying to sweeten the deal with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was considered untouchable last off-season. The Rays who already have a young talented catcher, may be willing to take Salty in hopes of turning around and trading him for more pitching. Still, it appears that this trade is at an impasse as the Rays continue to insist on Chuck James.
- Nothing new in this St. Pete Times article about Akinori Iwamura. The Rays and Iwamura’s agent still appear to be far apart in dollars and length of contract. The deadline is midnight, Friday to strike a deal. Iwamura’s agent is saying that his client is willing to return to Japan, which is the only leverage that the player has. It still seems likely that a deal will get done. These sort of deals never get done before the deadline. The only leverage the player has is time and it is in the agent’s best interest to wait as long as possible. In addition, the Rays failure to land any other significant free agents so far this off-season, means the team may be willing to offer a little more to Iwamura.
- Today is the deadline to offer new contracts to players that are arbitration eligible. Any players that are not offered new contracts will become non-tendered free agents at midnight. Last season the Rays picked up Ty Wiggington as a non-tendered free agent. The St. Pete Times offers a list of players that may become free agents. The list includes former Rays Mark Henderickson and Toby Hall.