Buster Olney tackled the Rays and what they might do at the trade deadline in this column for ESPN Insider.
Within the piece are some good nuggets like:
- “They will listen to just about every trade proposal thrown their way, regardless of who is involved…”
- “The perception among other teams is that Tampa Bay is ready to move [BJ Upton]. Now.”
- “Rival evaluators say they definitely could see [Johnny] Damon moving to another team in the last nine weeks of the season.”
- “[James Shields'] performance would probably be the most crucial for a late rush by Tampa Bay. The Rays really don’t buy into Hail Marys and fairy-tale finishes, and the fact is that Shields’s trade value may never be higher than it is right now.”
- The Rays have been scouting the Reds minor league system and the Reds are interested in James Shields. Olney adds that the Rays could be interested in 1B prospect Yonder Alonso and/or C Devin Mesoraco.
But maybe the most interesting comment was about how much of a factor public perception is…
“…they will listen to just about every trade proposal thrown their way, regardless of who is involved, and if it’s a good baseball trade, they’ll do it, without fretting about public backlash. Because there can’t be that much backlash when you’re drawing 22,000-plus for a game against the Yankees in the middle of the summer, which is what happened Tuesday night.”
Got that? The Rays don’t give a crap what you think, because there aren’t enough of you to make any noise. Well, at least that’s what a writer for ESPN believes.