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

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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?

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.