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Rays quiet at deadline but might not be done

By MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 1, 2001


BALTIMORE -- Greg Vaughn still is here, for now. So are John Flaherty, Ben Grieve and the rest of the Rays who made it to Baltimore.

The Rays did not make any more trades by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline for non-waiver deals. But general manager Chuck LaMar said he was pleased with the moves already made, and there could be more to come.

"When you look at what we had to do, what our agenda was, I'd say we did a good job," LaMar said from St. Petersburg.

The mandate from ownership was to make the team younger and less expensive, and LaMar did both, trading Albie Lopez and Mike DiFelice to Arizona and Fred McGriff to Chicago.

The moves opened spots in the lineup for catcher Toby Hall and first baseman Steve Cox, and they allowed the Rays to add promising lefty Nick Bierbrodt to the rotation.

More importantly, the Rays say they saved about $11-million in the process.

"Over the next two years we moved over $11-million," LaMar said. "If that's not the most moved by any club, I'd like to see those moves."

LaMar said he was involved in talks into the last hour before the deadline, and some of those situations could be revisited this month in waiver-related deals.

The Rays could put their remaining veterans on waivers as soon as today. If a player is claimed during the 48-hour waiver period, the Rays could let him, and his contract, go. If a player clears waivers, he can be traded during the month and still be eligible for post-season play.

Vaughn, who figured to have the most trade appeal to a contender, said he was not disappointed to still be with the Rays. "I didn't sign a contract two years ago saying I'd be traded in a year and a half," he said.

In a live chat on the players association Web site earlier Tuesday, Vaughn said he'd be "a little disappointed" to be traded because he and the Rays hadn't played to their potential, but he had mixed emotions "since I'm winding down my career. ... I would take another opportunity to play for a contender. I'd like to have that chance."

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