Rays Notes: Pitching, Kotchman, Damon, Friedman

Andrew Friedman spoke with the media today about the Rays' plans heading into the Winter Meetings.  Here are some highlights, courtesy of Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times

  • Friedman stuck to only discussing the Rays and declined to comment on his connection to the Astros' open general manager's job.  The Astros have permission to speak to Friedman and he is thought to be their top candidate.
  • The Rays' are looking for help at DH and first base, so free agents Casey Kotchman and Johnny Damon are "very much in the discussion" to be brought back, Friedman said.
  • The club isn't looking to deal one of its eight starting pitchers but if one was dealt, Friedman says it would be for Major League players that could contribute right away.  Topkin writes that there has "been heavy interest" in Tampa Bay's pitching from other teams.
  • Reid Brignac, Elliot Johnson and Sean Rodriguez are expected to handle shortstop, so Tampa Bay isn't looking to bring in another player for the position.
  • Friedman is open to adding catching depth but isn't sure it will be available.  The catching job will be split between the newly-signed Jose Molina and either Robinson Chirinos or Jose Lobaton.
  • Since the Rays want to add to their offense, it doesn't seem likely that B.J. Upton will be traded this winter.

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