Are Rays Going After Halladay and Lee?

July 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

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Ken Rosenthal has reported that the Rays are players for both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Rosenthal states that:

The Rays are engaged in a whirlwind of activity, investigating Lee, Halladay and numerous other options — “major, major stuff,” according to one source.

Payroll flexibility remains a significant obstacle, and the Rays might need to move left-hander Scott Kazmir or another high-priced player to clear room for a major acquisition.

There are no indications, however, that the Rays are discussing trades involving Kazmir, who is earning $6 million this season, $8 million in 2010 and $12 million in ’11 with a $13.5 million or $2.5 million buyout for ’12.

This is the first I have that the Rays are even considering one of the top two starters on the market. I have stated, in my own circle of friends, that the Rays should make a push for Halladay but there is no way they can add the payroll, they would have to shed some because they have a ton of players that are getting raises next season.

Kazmir would be one that could be traded and he has been a different pitcher since seeing former pitching coach Rick Peterson. But, I can’t imagine the Rays getting proper value for him.

Another option I have heard is trading Carl Crawford but that would be insane.

The Jays would almost certainly ask for David Price as a starter and the Rays won’t consider it, especially because the Jays would also ask for one of Wade Davis or Jeremy Hellickson on top of Price. It won’t happen.

MLBtraderumors found out that the Rays have indeed talked to the Indians about Lee. The Indians would certainly ask for a package that is headed by Wade Davis but the Rays seem to be reluctant to add him to a deal, and I agree with that. Davis has top of the rotation stuff, is almost major league ready, and will be under team control for six years.

I think the Rays are trying to showcase Jeremy Hellickson in a possible deal for Lee. Hellickson was promoted to Triple-A Durham yesterday and has done nothing nut impress in the minors. The Rays could try a package of Hellickson, Reid Brignac, and Alex Cobb and it might get a deal done for Lee but again, the Rays would have to add payroll and that doesn’t seem likely.

There is no doubt that the Rays have a contending team and, unlike last year, it is the pitching staff that needs help and not the lineup. Would the addition of Roy Halladay make the Rays better? Of course. Do they have the prospects to make a deal for Halladay. You bet. How about Cliff Lee? Not a problem. But, the Rays cannot afford to add payroll; they would have to get very creative and find a way to cut payroll in outside trades and there is a very slight chance of that happening. But, I do think the Rays needs to make a change soon, whether it be Lee, Halladay, or calling up Wade Davis.

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