Rays relievers discuss trade possibilities
Jepsen, Boxberger and McGee all involved in rumors before Deadline
ST. PETERSBURG -- Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline is fast approaching, meaning a lot of names are being tossed around the rumor mill. The idea of getting traded can be unsettling, but several Rays players who have been mentioned in trade rumors did not seem to be fazed by the situation.
Reliever Kevin Jepsen said he'd never experienced rumors about being involved in a trade until right before he was dealt to Tampa Bay this past offseason.
"Before that, I never was a part of any trade talks," Jepsen said. "It was always, 'No, we're not trading him.' So in season, this is all new to me. But I've seen it."
Jepsen referenced the rumors about Scott Downs prior to his getting traded in 2013.
"So I've seen that happen," Jepsen said. "Nobody knows who's going to get traded and to who and to where, and all of that. Most of the time it is just talk."
Jepsen is eligible for free agency after the 2016 season, and he could be a valuable bullpen piece for any team. He smiled when asked if he paid any attention to the rumors.
"What's nice for myself is I don't have any social media," Jepsen said. "So I don't get the updates all the time. So I just hear it secondhand. It's either going to happen or it's not. Nobody ever plays for one team for their entire career."
Closer Brad Boxberger is an attractive possibility for teams scanning the Rays' roster for help. In addition to having an All-Star season, he's controllable through 2019.
"You know, it's all just rumors right now," Boxberger said. "So until anybody tells me anything, that's all it is. We're going to talk about everyone going everywhere. Maybe nobody will get traded and we'll still be sitting here doing the same thing we're doing."
When asked about the vibe in the clubhouse, Boxberger said he and all of his teammates know the coming days will be filled with countless rumors.
"It's just part of it this time of year," Boxberger said. "Especially with our play not being great of late. People are probably going to start thinking that we're going to start making some moves to do something to change it up a little bit."
Left-handed reliever Jake McGee is also an attractive bullpen piece many teams covet. He makes $3.5 million, and he will likely be in the $5 million range next season.
"I think you just kind of know when the Trade Deadline comes along, you're going to hear your name here and there," McGee said. "But not all the time. It doesn't really affect me because it's kind of out of my control."
McGee, who has been in the Rays' organization since the beginning of his career, agreed that forecasting what they might do is near impossible. Even last season, when ace David Price got traded to the Tigers.
"You never really knew who they were going to trade him to, for who, then he went to a sleeper team," McGee said. "So you just never know."