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Your latest Cliff Lee rumor: would you believe the Rays?

Jul 6, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

Thanks God for LeBron-mania! Otherwise baseball would seem positively unhinged right now.

Peter Gammons just tweeted the following:

Rumblings around St. Pete ballpark was a BJ
Upton-Cliff Lee deal. 3-way?

The only other time I’ve seen the Rays mentioned in Cliff Lee talk is when they’re lumped in those sentences that begin with “besides the Mets and the Twins, many other teams could conceivably get in on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes . . .” Not that there isn’t some sense to this.  B.J. Upton and the Rays seem to be on the outs and it seems like the Rays need some sort of kick to help them regain control on the AL East.

Still, offense — not starting pitching — is the Rays’ biggest concern and with Franklin Gutierrez around, what interest do the Mariners have in acquiring a centerfielder?  For this to work the Rays would likely have to give up a nice shiny something from their deep farm system, not B.J. Upton. Or, as Gammons suggests, it would have to be a three-way deal.  Maybe the Braves — who could use an outfielder and would like to see Lee anywhere other than on the Mets roster — get involved.  Not that I want them to get Upton.

Ultimately I think Gammons’ use of the word “rumblings” is right.  Nothing too specific was said and nothing too loudly.  Just loose talk among the girls at the ballpark, ya know?

  1. Jonny5 - Jul 6, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Ok, this is about Lee and all, I get it. But thought it was cool to share. I know there will be Philly fans screaming about how we should have kept Lee, and while I tend to agree, I also know that being in third place isn’t about or because of letting Lee go. It’s about lack of offense.

  2. Simon DelMonte - Jul 6, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Lee = Yankee killer. That might be enough of a reason to see what might happen in trade talks.

  3. Detroit Michael - Jul 6, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    If the Rays wanted to shake up their rotation, you’d think they’d first swap Wade Davis for Jeremy Hellickson before making a larger change.

  4. Paper Lions - Jul 6, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    Philly is 5th in the NL in runs scored (despite playing the fewest games in the league) and are 8th in ERA. I just don’t see where offense is the primary problem.

  5. basiltherat - Jul 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Don’t buy it for a second. Whatever their issues with Upton, he’s not a BAD player and he’s still relatively cheap, and the Rays already are gonna have to fill an outfield hole when Crawford walks. I don’t rule out the Rays pursuing an impact player — they were in on Jason Bay right until the last moment two years ago — but that rumor doesn’t pass the smell test.

  6. Jonny5 - Jul 6, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Ok, that puts them damn near the center of the pack. In the NL. So how isn’t that the problem? When you can barely get wins with Halladay on the mound, how is offense not your major concern? What is your take on the “primary problem”?

  7. Ick McWang - Jul 6, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    no, not hellickson, he is here for next season. thats the plan. they could easily put wade davis in the bullpen, or i’ve even heard of them possibly unloading james shields, which obviously would make a spot for Lee, then when Lee’s contract is up the Rays get Type A compensation, and have a perfect spot for Hellickson to step into. it actually makes sense.

  8. Rays fan1 - Jul 6, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Sounds like fun, but I’d rather send Crawford than Upton as he’s likely gone at the end of the season anyway since there’s no way the rays can keep up with the Yankees or Red Sox in the bidding war that will surely happen.

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