phpcVH73hAt the trade deadline last season, the Rays came precariously close to striking a deal with the Pirates for Jason Bay. In fact, the deal was so close, that one writer reported that the deal was done. We won’t mention which writer, *cough* Bill Chastain *cough*.

In the end, the Rays did not make a deal, and Bay ended up in Boston as part of a three-team deal that also included Manny Ramirez going to the Dodgers.

Today at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dejan Kovacevic looks back at exactly how the trade came to be. He focuses on the chaotic final seven minutes before the trade deadline, at which point the Rays were no longer involved. But Kovecevic does shed some light on how close the Rays came to striking a deal.

  • By July 27, the Rays were one of 5 teams involved in talks.
  • On the day of the trade deadline (July 31), the Rays appeared to be the front-runner. Kovacevic notes that “the Pirates’ feeling at times was that they were closer to a single-team trade, notably with the prospect-rich Rays.”
  • At 3:40 pm (20 minutes before the deadline), the Pirates had narrowed the field to the Rays and Braves.
  • 5 minutes later, the Pirates called the Rays and Braves and asked for specific prospects. In both instances, the Pirates were “summarily rejected.” [Ed. note: At the time, it was believed that the Pirates asked for Reid Brignac and Jeff Niemann, and either one was untouchable or the Rays were unwilling to part with both]
  • At that point, the Pirates felt that Bay would not be traded, even discussing the possibility of offering Bay an extension.
  • Finally, several calls in the final 7 minutes resurrected the deal with the Dodgers and the Red Sox and the deal was finalized with less than a minute to go before the deadline.

Baseball 2009: Seven minutes that changed the franchise [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]



  1. Bob Ruffolo says:

    He would have been a good fit for the Rays. But with a system like the Rays have, why mess with success?

  2. bobrittner says:

    I don't think we can really evaluate the non-trade yet. We don't know, for example, what Niemann and Brignac will do in their careers. We may guess that it would be Hammel, not Niemann, who would become the 5th starter to begin 2009, but of course we can't really be sure whether that is significant.

    As for the immediate impact, unless we think that Bay would have led us to a World Series win, I don't see how a deal for Bay would have been of immediate consequence. We won the pennant without him. And the whole point of the anxiety at the time was that with Crawford injured and the team not doing well against lefties, Bay would have increased our chances to get where we got anyway.

    I think the assumption all along was that getting Bay would be a short term commitment as he would soon be too expensive to retain, so again, not consummating the deal seems almost irrelevant to me at this point.

  3. themarksmith says:

    I'm still angry the Pirates front office killed the trade between them and the Braves a few days before the deadline. The GMs had a deal, and the Pirates ownership said no.

  4. Jim says:

    I heard the Rays offered Niemann/Brignac and the Pirates wanted Davis...

  5. Matt says:

    What was the deal with the Braves that the Pirates killed?

  6. Steve says:

    You guys crack me up! You talk as if you really believe you have something to say when it comes to meaningful baseball. You can have all the prospects in the world, and you can even get lucky and win the pennant, once! Your team had no signficant injuries (Carl Crawford, please) and your bullpen had no bumps in the road. You got lucky.

    Let's see what happens this year when reality comes calling.

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      Longoria, Pena, Bartlett, Upton, and Crawford were injured at some point in the season.... sounds like significant injuries to me.

      The bullpen pen which "had no bumps in the road" was riddled with injuries as well.... lets' see- their closer (Percival) saw the DL no less than 4 times, same with Reyes (the "back-up closer")... sounds a little bumpy to me...

      So don't you come on here and try to sound like you know what you're talking about, go crawl back into your bowl of chowda'

  7. Steve says:

    So, if you had a hangnail you go on the DL in Tampa.....and by the way, what do you go back to and crawl to? A dump water state with a chip on its shoulder, cause' it wants to hang with the big boys? Your "talented" team needs to show it can play for real now. No flying under the radar.

    Go Devil Rays!!!! Oh yeah, I mean, go Rays! Is that your name this year or will you change it again? How many seats will you try to fill this year in that Sh@# hole you call a park? 2500?

  8. Steve says:

    And another thing......I don't need to be told where to go crawl back to, from someone who "knows" so much about baseball from an embarassment of a franchise up until last year, how many trips to the playoffs have the Rays been to in their illustrious history? How many titles have you won? What type of stadium do you have?

    So before you go thinking your a baseball guy, take a deep breath and do what you do best in Florida, deep sea fishing..


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