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Rays trade rumors: Tampa Bay searching for bullpen upgrades; could still be buyers

Despite frequent rumors that the Rays will be selling at the deadline, it's still possible that they may end up adding rather than subtracting.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays have been the subject of non-stop trade rumors this summer surrounding possible deals involving David Price and Ben Zobrist, but it's still possible that the Rays could be buyers over the next week. GM Andrew Friedman recently told's Jim Bowden that he would not rule out adding at the deadline, and according to Chris Cotillo, the Rays are in the market for bullpen upgrades.

The Rays' performance over the past month has catapulted them into a position that no longer makes selling a sure thing. Since losing 14 games during a 15 game stretch in late May and early June, Tampa Bay has gone 25-11, leaving them 7 games back in an AL East that lacks a dominant team like the AL West or Central. Baseball Prospectus currently rates the Rays' odds of making the playoffs at 12.1%, and PECOTA projects the Rays to go 33-27 the rest of the way, a mark topped only by the Tigers and Angels among AL clubs.

If the Rays do decide to make a run at the postseason, the bullpen is a logical place to upgrade. Rays' relievers have struggled this season, owning a 0.7 staff WAR that ranks just 24th in the majors, as well as a 27th-ranked 3.76 ERA. They could sorely use another late-innings arm, and Cotillo mentions Neal Cotts, Burke Badenhop, Andrew Miller, Wesley Wright, and James Russell as potential options.