TAMPA BAY RAYS

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2014 record: 77-85, 4th place in AL East

Manager: Kevin Cash, 1st season

Estimated 2015 payroll: $75 million

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The immediate reaction to Wednesday night's trade — the Nationals sent All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard to the Athletics for journeyman infielder Yunel Escobar — was fairly passionate.

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Another significant trade rumor was reported Sunday night, and though this one can no longer happen in reality, it did raise an interesting question from the Nationals' standpoint.

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While we were all debating whether the Nats would trade for Ben Zobrist of the Rays this week,

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With questions at second base in Washington and a surplus of middle infielders in Tampa Bay, a connection between the Nationals and Ben Zobrist of the Rays is logical.

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