Despite an eruption of rumors linking them to Cliff Lee, the Rays are spending almost all of their time shopping for bats these days. Two names sources say they’ve inquired about: Josh Willingham and Adam Dunn, reports ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.
Clubs that have spoken with the Rays say they’re not even focused on adding offense at any particular position…their focus is to “just get a bat,” said an official of one club, “and make the pieces fit later.”
Certainly Lee would be a big boost to the Rays rotation, but it does make more sense that the Rays first priority would be to add a bat. In fact, if Lee doesn’t work out, we can’t imagine there is even a plan B for the rotation that does not include the name “Jeremy Hellickson.”
Stark adds what many of us have already heard. That is, the Rays are indeed listening to offers for BJ Upton. However, Stark’s sources say the Rays are more likely to wait until the off-season to trade the center fielder.
Another “baseball man” told Stark that Lee is “not a likely fit” for the Rays.