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Rays exploring varied possibilities at Meetings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After three days of visiting with other teams and agents to discuss different trade deals and possible signings, the Rays continued to stand pat Wednesday.

That stance prompted Matt Silverman to note: "One of our rules is there's no magic to the Winter Meetings and the timing of the meetings."

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The Rays' president of baseball operations said they feel no pressure to get a deal done while at the Winter Meetings.

"We certainly have conversations," Silverman said. "We certainly exchange ideas. I'm not saying that other teams are cavalier, but we're very deliberate in our process, and especially if we're considering larger deals. We want to make sure that we cover all of our bases and go through all the processess that we would if we weren't here in Nashville under one roof."

Silverman said that it's unusual for the Rays to break for three days from the way they normally operate for the other 362 days of the year, which they do at the Winter Meetings.

Video: Cash talks about the 2015 Winter Meetings

"But it's a nice break and facilitates much more rapid conversations," Silverman said. "What might take a week or two to discuss can be condensed in the course of two days, or even in a couple of hours. That's what makes these days interesting.

"The brainstorming, the idea generating that goes on, and the fact that we're all stuck under one roof with nothing else to do but talk to each other about ways we might be able to improve our organizations."

The Rays' policy is all about keeping quiet about their intentions. They do not discuss possible deals with the media.

Given that mantra, Silverman would not share names of players that have been discussed -- either coming or going from the Rays. However, he did describe some of the conversations taking place.

"We're looking to get one guy, we're looking to get several guys, we're looking at acquisitions that could bolster our system and give us even more confidence in the future," Silverman said. "We're also looking at deals that will bolster our Major League club this year.

Video: Chastain on Rays' pitching depth, potential moves

"There are so many different possibilities out there, but yet nothing has come to fruition yet. And we might walk away from these Meetings and with the follow-up conversations with nothing, but we'll feel better about doing nothing having had all these conversations and pursuing different avenues."

While Silverman said, "It feels like we have less unfinished business" at the end of the Winter Meetings, he quickly added: "We'd be doing ourselves a disservice if we weren't having the conversations and inquiring on players that could be fits for the organization. When I say fits, it's not just for this year, but looking out over the next several years and making sure that we feel good about the depth we have."

On a different front, this year's Rule 5 Draft is Thursday morning.

In last year's Rule 5 Draft, the Rays lost Oscar Hernandez to the D-backs, who selected the catcher with the first pick of the Draft.

In this year's Rule 5 Draft, the Rays appear as though they will have another player selected with the first pick of the Major League phase of the Draft.

Major League sources and reports are all saying that unprotected Rays outfielder Tyler Goeddel will be taken with the first pick.

Goeddel, 23, was drafted by the Rays in the first round (41st overall) of the 2011 June Draft. He hit .279 with 12 home runs, 72 RBIs and stole 28 bases at Double-A Montgomery in 2015 while playing all outfield positions.

Silverman said that should the Rays lose a player or two in the Rule 5 Draft, "It's an indication of the depth of talent that we have in the system."

"We'd love to be able to protect all of our players," Silverman said. "We also need a certain amount of roster flexibility to get through the offseason and have the ability to bring on players during the offseason, and also as we head into the year.

"We were somewhat surprised with Oscar being picked last year. ... We'll see what happens this year. All I know is we will not be selecting anyone in the [Major League phase of the] Rule 5 Draft."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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