No surprise here, but according to Marc Topkin, BJ Upton has declined the Rays qualifying offer. Upton is now a free agent and free to sign with any team. When he does, the Rays will receive a draft pick as compensation.

Here are a few other leftover links to get the weekend started.


  • The Phillies have already had conversations with BJ Upton’s agent. [CSNPhilly]
  • Ken Rosenthal speculates that the Rays will hold on to James Shields and are more likely to deal Jeremy Hellickson in large part because both the Red Sox and Yankees are expected to be weaker in 2013. [FoxSports]
  • Jim Hickey was recently on WDAE and talked about the Rays’ starting pitchers. [620 WDAE]
  • An blog wonders if the Brewers should try to trade for Jeremy Hellickson. [ReviewingTheBrew]
  •’s Phillies blog weighs the pros and cons of BJ Upton. [Crashburn Alley]
  • Johnny Damon is going to play for Thailand as they attempt to qualify for the World Baseball Classic. [Big League Stew]






  1. angry buddha says:

    That Rosenthal take is just stupid. I can't believe Friendman and co. will make a decision on their own roster based on the makeup of the Yanks and Red Sox spring training rosters.

  2. Dave L says:

    Now I'm convinced these 'insiders' like Rosenthal's sources are not Rays management but agents like Borat.

    The AL East isnt any weaker. The O's have replaced the Bosox in 2013 as a rival but its the same every year.

    These agents have vivid imaginations and they get the 'smart guys' with a mic and network face time to parrot them.

    Thats why 97.3453% of trade rumors fizzle.

  3. Tom says:

    I agree with Rosenthal that the division will most likely be weaker than it has been the past couple of years.. The Sox and Jays are both rebuilding, I think the O's will win around 85 games or so and the Yanks are getting dangerously old.

  4. Dave L says:

    Here's another one Borat spoonfed like pureed Gerber babyfood to another hapless lazy ESPN "insider"

    Even if you cant make the link work the tag gives it away. The Sox would be crazy to deal Ellsbury. He got injured so he had a 'rough' year which was still respectable. He's a damn good ball player in all facets of the game

    So the "poor" Rays and the "rich" Sox both need to trade these magnificent Borat clients even before they reach arbitration? This logic is absurd.

    You people that swallow this stuff like mothers milk need to start working on your critical thinking skills

  5. don says:

    Please Cleveland or some other loser offer BJ $70-75 mil for 5 years in hell...instead of $13.5 mil to live in tampabay & play for the Rays & every players dreamboat manager.....


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