1:21pm: Tampa Bay does have at least some interest in Butler, Topkin tweets.
12:27pm: The Rays are looking at adding a bat after trading Logan Forsythe, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets, but they aren’t locked in to another second baseman. Tampa Bay is said also to be considering first base and DH candidates.
A right-handed bat would be preferred, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times suggests on Twitter. The Rays have apparently cast a few lines in the water, with top remaining free-agent slugger Mike Napoli among the players being contacted. He might be too expensive, though the Rays did move $7MM off of their 2017 payroll in dealing Forsythe.
Presumably, Tampa Bay will also at least give consideration to Chris Carter, who’s perhaps the next-best power-hitting righty still available. Whether or not there’s any possibility of a trade remains unknown. Other defensively limited bats on the market include Mark Reynolds and Billy Butler, with Aaron Hill arguably representing the most appealing remaining right-handed-hitting player with substantial experience at second base.
Clearly, there’s some flexibility here for the Rays given their remaining roster alignment. Brad Miller is currently penciled in at first, but has ample experience playing up the middle and could step into the mix there. Tim Beckham and Nick Franklin are also options.