Rays executives keep lines open but refuse to trade just for trading's sake

Published December 22, 2005

Andrew Friedman said he spent Wednesday like many other days in his Tropicana Field office: working the phones, trying to make trades and determinations on free agents.

And though he would not talk specifically about moves, the Devil Rays executive vice president said he is not feeling pressure to deal beyond the acquisitions of third baseman Sean Burroughs and backup catcher Josh Paul.

"We're not going to be pressured to do something just to do it," he said. "It has to overlap with what we're trying to accomplish. If not, we're very satisfied with how the roster is shaping up."

That said, centerfielder Joey Gathright is still front and center with the Marlins and Red Sox. Florida left-hander Scott Olsen has apparently been discussed as part of the compensation.

Shortstop Julio Lugo is in the mix with Boston and the Mets, and the Red Sox still have an eye on rightfielder Aubrey Huff.

As for the 50 players who became free agents after they were not offered contracts, it is believed only right-handed reliever Shawn Camp, 1-4 last season with a 6.43 ERA in 29 appearances with the Royals, has piqued Tampa Bay's interest.

IT'S OFFICIAL: The team announced it signed catcher Toby Hall and reliever Lance Carter. Hall's deal is for one year and $2.25-million with incentives that could add $250,000. Carter's contract is for about $550,000.

ODDS AND ENDS: Friedman said he had preliminary contract talks with Japanese All-Star reliever Shinji Mori. ... Former Rays pitcher Dewon Brazelton is a free agent after the Padres did not tender an offer, though reports indicate the team may try to re-sign him. ... Former River Ridge standout T.J. Tucker was not offered a contract by the Nationals.

FADING STARS SWAPPED: The Giants acquired outfielder Steve Finley, 40, from the Angels for third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo, 32, in a trade of former All-Stars who dropped off dramatically.

CARDS ADD TROUBLED PITCHER: Sidney Ponson agreed to a one-year, $1-million contract with St. Louis, three months after the Orioles voided the pitcher's contract and released him. The right-hander served a five-day jail sentence last week for DWI.

YANKEES: Bernie Williams is staying put, agreeing to a $1.5-million, one-year contract.

Information from other news organizations was used in this report.