As both a playoff contender and an organization keeping its payroll in check, the Rays could decide to become buyers, sellers, or a combination of the two this month. However, Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times views the club as buyers more than sellers, since they seem "more focused on adding to their core than breaking it up." Topkin spoke to executive VP Andrew Friedman about the upcoming deadline:
- "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to line up on something that helps us in 2011 and gets in front of one of our to-do items this offseason," said Friedman. "We are pursuing different moves that would strengthen our weaknesses and not necessarily detract from our current strengths."
- The Rays are open to acquiring a rental player, but would give up more for someone who was under control past this season.
- The team is willing to use its farm system to faciliate a potential trade. Friedman says there are a few prospects the Rays are "very unlikely" to trade, with Matt Moore likely heading that list, but "the fact that we have a really deep system helps us in that respect."
- In a separate piece, Topkin examines the pros and cons of trading five players on the Rays' current roster, including B.J. Upton and Johnny Damon.
- The Rays have been bold and brazen when making trades in the past, and need to continue to be aggressive, writes John Romano of the St. Petersburg Times.