Winning and building for the future represent a delicate balance for the Rays, who operate on a tight budget each year. They entered tonight's game vs. the Red Sox in third place in the AL East, six games behind Boston and five behind second-place New York. In its most recent Playoff Odds Report, Baseball Prospectus listed the Rays as having an 8.6 percent chance of reaching the postseason.
However, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times wrote today that the Rays are more likely to be buyers than sellers this month, as they seem inclined to further build their core, rather than breaking it down (here's Topkin's list of players the Rays might consider selling). Executive vice president Andrew Friedman told Topkin that he hopes to add a player who can help the Rays in 2011 and beyond, and that the Rays' deep farm could allow him to make such a trade, though certain prospects are highly unlikely to be made available.
Tampa Bay is in a tough spot, being a solid team in a brutal division. Friedman's vision of adding a good, cost-controlled player sounds good, but it could be tough to pull off without dealing a high-end prospect. What would you do if you were the Rays?