Though they are not in a position to make a run at a playoff spot this season, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays decided not to break up the team at the trade deadline.
With the way they’ve been playing lately, that seems like a smart decision.
The Devil Rays will try for their season-high fifth straight win when they open a three-game series with the Texas Rangers.
Tampa Bay was involved in discussions with the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox about a three-way deal that centered on sending Boston’s Manny Ramirez to New York. The Devil Rays were hoping to acquire prospects in the trade, but were likely going to have to part with their three most sought-after players— closer Danys Baez, outfielder Aubrey Huff and shortstop Julio Lugo.
“From my standpoint, I’m happy that we kept our players here,” manager Lou Piniella said. “Gives us a chance to finish up as strong as we can. (General manager) Chuck (LaMar) worked hard, and certainly he had the best interests of this organization in mind. Let’s see if we can win as many ballgames as we can and turn our season around.”
The Devil Rays won their fourth straight on Sunday, beating Kansas City 6-2. Travis Lee homered for Tampa Bay, which wrapped up an 8-2 homestand with the four-game series sweep.
The Devil Rays are in last place in the AL East, 20 games behind the Red Sox, but have gone 12-5 since the All-Star break. They are on a four-game winning streak for the third time this season.
“Absolutely, I’m happy (about staying),” Huff said. “We’re starting to pull up some wins. We’re having a good time now that we’re playing better baseball.”
The Rangers lost 5-1 to Toronto on Sunday, ending their four-game winning streak.
“I wish I had a better showing. That was the first time I felt that kind of jitter in a long time,” he said. “I had to keep looking down at my uniform. I had to put the same one on for a long time.”