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Rays: Still Have Pitching to Deal; Jeff Niemann; Carlos Pena; RISP Hitting...

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Jeff Niemann #34 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park September 17, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 17: Jeff Niemann #34 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park September 17, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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The Tampa Bay Rays have filled most of the holes on their team and still have pitching to potentially trade, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin notes the team doesn't have a lot of financial room to do much else, but moving a pitcher like Jeff Niemann could free up some cash.

One interesting and sad (in relative baseball fan sense, of course) note that Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has is that sometimes bidding more isn't always enough -- the Indians reportedly offered almost a million more ($8M) to Carlos Pena than the offer he signed with the Rays ($7.25M). That can't make Indians fans feel good, but Pena is clearly familiar with the Rays, and perhaps (my speculation) wanted a chance to play on a winning team. The Indians are a bit further away, to say the least.

  • Tampa Bay Rays still have pitching to deal - Marc Topkin | Tampa Bay Times
    "With the payroll pushing $65 million, an increase of nearly 60 percent, there isn't expected to be any more wiggle room. But the Rays could free up some cash by trading Niemann (who will get $2.75 million or $3.2 million in arbitration) or Davis ($1.5 million) either for an experienced catcher (the Cubs' Geovany Soto? A's Kurt Suzuki? Padres' Nick Hundley?) or prospects and go back into the free-agent market (Pudge Rodriguez? Bengie Molina, to play with brother Jose?)."
  • How did the Indians not sign Carlos Pena? - Paul Hoynes | cleveland.com
    "I was under the impression that they hadn't made an offer to Pena, but I was wrong. They made a "competitive" one-year offer to the left-handed hitting first baseman for a reported $8 million. Pena, however, is a former Ray and wanted to go back there. If the Indians had gone to $12 million, maybe they would have gotten Pena, but they would have been overpaying."