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Rays Rumors: Tampa Bay looking for up to five frontline position players

Mark Reynolds, Lance Berkman and Chone Figgins are among players the Rays could target.


The Tampa Bay Rays lineup could look a lot different in 2013, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports they could add as many as five position players this offseason.

In theory, the Rays are looking for up to five frontline position players.

Two are absolute necessities, as there are no in-house candidates to play first base or DH, leaving the Rays to explore pretty much every trade and free agent option. (And thus creating plenty of rumor-mill fodder.)

Topkin specifically mention Mark Reynolds as a potential fit as a first baseman/designated hitter, and noted the team has expressed some interest in Lance Berkman.

Topkin also reported the Rays could be interested in Chone Figgins, whose best seasons came with the Los Angles Angels, where current Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon had served as bench coach during the same period.

The team's less-pressing needs are in the outfield, middle infield and catcher. They'll have to replace B.J. Upton, but they always have the option to move Desmond Jennings over to center field if they find a left fielder. Ben Francisco and Sam Fuld are the top in-house options.

Similarly, the Rays have some flexibility in the infield with Ben Zobrist being able to play either shortstop or second base. Of course, the team could always bring back Ryan Roberts or go with some combination of Sean Rodriguez, Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson.

The Rays were pleased with the production they got from Jose Molina, but he'll turn 38-years-old this season. Last season, Jose Lobaton and Chris Gimenez backed up Molina.