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

 
 

11 Comments

  1. Still won’t believe anything until it’s official. That link has a lot of strange speculation… including that getting rid of Upton would provide “salary relief.” Let’s be honest, Bossman’s salary is the least of the FO concerns right now.

    If the Rays are going to trade Bossman to the Dodgers, get Manny. Rehab him and bring him in in September to scare the crap out of pitchers. He should be well rested for the stretch run.

    If the Rays were to move Bossman, i think they would go with Zobrist in center w/ Jennings a late defensive substitution. I don’t think they think Jennings will be the everyday CF’er for a stretch run. Too many intangibles.

  2. Gah! Manny? Only if two things happen:
    1) the Dodgers pay at least 90% of his salary
    2) the Rays keep him in a sealed bubble until his time to bat.
    But goodness, Manny as a secret weapon against the AL East? Wow. But it won’t happen.

  3. Carey says:

    Do we not already have several options in Durham that are better than McDonald?

  4. Turner says:

    Never seen McDonald pitch but his stats aren’t that impressive. I’m all for trading Upton.

  5. Gus says:

    I’d note that the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series with a rookie playing CF (Ellsbury). Have courage Rays front office. Be brave. Be bold. Do it.

  6. Buddhaboy says:

    Just drop Upton, or pick up a lefty reliever (George Sherrill). I will throw a party the night of an Upton trade. A no pants party.

  7. Don says:

    I’ll take Zo, Rodz, Jennings rotation in CF…won’t lose much on defense because of smarter fielders, plus pick up 50 points in batting avg. for the line up without Upton….Win, Win, Win

  8. Matt says:

    Mcdonald might not have the nicest stats but he’s very young. I’d like this deal. Rays trade Upton for Mcdonald and OF Xavier Paul.

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