Rays Looking To Deal Jackson Or Hammel?

We’re getting towards rosters becoming finalized, and that means making a number of decisions on guys who are out of options. The Rays have a bit of a good problem. WIth James Shields, Matt Garza, Andy Sonnanstine, and eventually Scott Kazmir in their rotation, there is only room for one of Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel. With Kazmir slated to start the season on the DL, they could have room for both temporarily. But they’ll eventually have to cut back.

This could coincide with GM Andrew Friedman’s desire to acquire an outfielder. He’s said that they’ll "be aggressive if something presents itself." I could go on and list the potentially available outfielders, but I think this is a perfect scenario for the Cubs to unload Matt Murton.

Maybe I’m personally a bit high on Murton, but I think he provides a better alternative for the Rays than in-house option Eric Hinske. The Cubs should be looking to unload him now that they’ve acquired Reed Johnson. I’m not quite sure how well the two teams match up, though. The Cubs already have a rotation of Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Hill, Ryan Dempster, and Jason Marquis. However, who knows how long Dempster and Marquis will last? They do have Jon Lieber around, as well as Sean Marshall.

So the question is, why would they be interested in Hammel or Jackson? All I can really offer on that front is that they’re really just trying to unload Murton.

I suppose this could be an option for the Reds to unload Ryan Freel, too. The Royals also have a surplus of outfielders, with David DeJesus, Joey Gathright, Mark Teahen, and Jose Guillen. They could use the pitching, I suppose (seriously, Brett Tomko?).

Any other possible matches you can think of?

Posted by Joe Pawlikowski. Please, mail me rumors today.

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