Mar. 14, 2012; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Sean Rodriguez (1) attends to left fielder Desmond Jennings (8) and center fielder B.J. Upton (2) after Upton and Jennigs collided while going after a fly ball in the outfield during the fourth inning against the Miami Marlins at Charlotte Sports Park. Both players were carted off the field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Rays Rumors: Tampa Bay Seeking Outfielder

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that, due to spring injuries to B.J. Upton and Sam Fuld, the Tampa Bay Rays are now exploring the trade market for an outfielder.  Rosenthal added that Tampa Bay is interested in a left fielder-type player, preferably one that is a right-handed hitter.

We found out yesterday that Tampa Bay would start the regular season without center fielder B.J. Upton.  Still feeling the effects of his collision with fellow outfielder Desmond Jennings, the Rays have said that Upton will begin the year on their disabled list.

Fuld is also set to start the regular season on the DL.  Utilityman Elliot Johnson figures to fill one of the vacancies left by Upton and Fuld, and Tampa Bay has several in-house non-roster candidates to consider for the other.

However, Rosenthal believes that, at least initially, the club will look outside the organization to find a replacement.

Rumors spread this week that Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd may be available, but it doesn’t appear that he’s going to be moved until closer to this summer’s trade deadline.  Also, the Rays are more likely looking for a short-term band aid rather than a long-term solution because Upton isn’t expected to miss significant time.

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Tags: B.J. Upton Desmond Jennings Elliot Johnson Marlon Byrd Sam Fuld Tampa Bay Rays

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