620 WDAE is reporting that the Nationals are looking to acquire Rays center fielder Elijah Dukes. The Rays have said that they believe it would be best for Elijah if he was to go to another team and get out of Tampa due to all of his problems. The Nationals are not the only team interested in the center fielder, but these talks seem more serious than any other team thus far. While the two sides are said to still be apart on the issue, the Rays should be looking for some bullpen help in return. Elijah does not have the trade value that he once had due to his off the field problems and his continued slump at the plate, but he has shown that he is a capable center Fielder and the Nationals are in need of some outfield help. If Dukes were to go to the Nationals he could be around Dimitri Young, brother of Rays Delmon, who Elijah knows well and by going to another team Elijah would get a fresh start.
62o is also reporting that the Rays have talked with the Minnesota Twins about trading Ty Wigginton. The Rays gave Wigginton a shot last year and he has shown what he can do and has been a great presence to the team, but with so much young infield talent Wigginton has become expendable. With the emergence of Bendan Harris and Carlos Pena the infield has become crowded and Rocco will be back soon making Upton full time at second once again. The Twins have always seemed like a grade trade option for the Rays to me since they have so many young arms. The Twins have great pitching, but lack hitting while the Rays have great young position players and not much in the way of pitching at the major league level. If the Rays can get some bullpen help for Wiggy i would be all for it.
The Rays have sent Chad Orvella and Tim Corcoran back down to Durham, but have not said who will be called up to replace them. The announcement should be made sometime later today. I hope the Rays call up another young guy or someone who has not been given a chance yet, rather than recycling the likes of Seth McClung and Rudy Lugo. Lugo and McClung have proven what Orvella and Corcoran have, that they are Minor league pitchers that will not be effective on the major league level. The Rays need to try some other guys to get the pen fixed. Edit- The Rays have called up Jason Hammel to replace one of the relievers. The Rays have not said whether Hammel will go to the pen or take E-Jax spot in the rotation. I hope the Rays leave E in the rotation as he is a guy who pitches better the more he pitches and he already struggled in the pen last year. Also, the Rays are going to workout former A, Jay Witasik tomorrow and he could be signed and take the second spot opened up by the demotions. If the Rays signed Witasik they would need to make room for him on the 40 man roster, which means someone would need to be cut. I would look at one of the relievers that was just sent down to be gone.
BJ Upton's injury was not as bad as it looked on Friday and he will not head to the DL. The Rays will still be cautious with Upton, so i do not expect him to be back until the Padres series starting on Friday. Dioner Navarro is also better than expected and actually was the emergency catcher on Sunday in Miami. With Casanova playing well, it should give Navarro time to get better before he comes back fully.