We continue to get conflicting stories on BJ Upton. Ed Price reports this morning that the Rays are shopping Upton “hard.” This is not the first time we have heard Bossman’s name linked with a trade rumor. But it is the first time we have heard that the Rays are actively trying to trade him.
This is telling for a couple of reasons. First, it means that the Rays believe they have a better shot at the playoffs without Upton. It also means that the Rays believe Desmond Jennings is ready to step in and play center field right now. The other possibility is that the Rays believe they will acquire Jayson Werth and that he would play the outfield. However, there is a problem with that scenario. While Ben Zobrist or Sean Rodriguez can play center, it is not an ideal everyday situation.
Price adds that the Rays are still trying to trade for a bat (Werth?) but have also shown interest in right-handed pitcher James McDonald, whom we assume the Rays would use in the bullpen. In 12 starts at triple-A this season, McDonald has a 4.41 ERA with 57 Ks and 24 walks in 63.1 innings. He was the Dodgers’ #2 prospect in 2009.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are showing interest in Roy Oswalt, but they want the Astros to pick up a “significant portion” of his remaining salary. That is important for the Rays because acquiring Werth from the Phillies is likely dependent on the Phillies getting Oswalt from the Astros.
2010 Trade Deadline: 9 days left