The Tampa Bay Devil Rays aren’t playing like a team looking to deal off two of their best players prior to Sunday’s trade deadline.
Winners of three straight and seven of their last nine games, the last-place Devil Rays will try to complete a four-game sweep of the AL-worst Kansas City Royals at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay was one of three teams involved in the developing deal that would send Boston slugger Manny Ramirez to the New York Mets. The Devil Rays were rumored to be unloading designated hitter Aubrey Huff and closer Danys Baez for prospects from both the Mets and Red Sox.
The Chicago White Sox also expressed interest in Baez and Huff.
Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar said he expected talks could continue until Sunday afternoon’s 4 p.m. EDT deadline for trades without waivers.
“We have had discussions with both teams, not only in a combined deal, but separate deals with each one of those teams,” he said. “It’s hard enough to make a real good trade (with two teams). When you start adding a third team, there are a lot of logistics.”
The Devil Rays continued their recent resurgence on Saturday as Jonny Gomes had the first three-homer game in Devil Rays history, powering Tampa Bay to a 7-3 victory. The Devil Rays moved a half-game in front of the Royals and out of the AL cellar.
The victory tied Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella (1,491-1,391) with Hall of Famer Clark Griffith for 18th place in career wins as a manager. The Devil Rays are 11-5 since the All-Star break.
Terrence Long homered for Kansas City, which took two of three from the major league-leading White Sox before visiting the Devil Rays.