Percival's agent, Paul Cohen, said Tuesday that the Rays are among about 10 teams interested in the 38-year-old pitcher, who went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 34 appearances for St. Louis this season after sitting out nearly two years with forearm trouble.
While plenty of teams need bullpen help, the Rays could have an edge because of Percival's close relationship with Joe Maddon. The two spent 10 seasons together with the Angels as Percival racked up 316 of his 324 career saves.
"We wouldn't be having serious conversations with them if Troy wasn't serious," Cohen said. "He has a tremendous respect for Joe."
According to the Dominican news site 7dias the Tampa Bay Rays may be close to trading Elijah Dukes to the Washington Nationals. And after comments attributed to Dukes, while playing for his Domincan Winter League team, it is looking more and more like the troubled yet talented outfielder has played his final game with the Rays. According to the report, Dukes has told several of his Dominican League teammates that he wants to be traded soon to get his career back on track.
Pirates declined shortstop Cesar Izturis' $5.45 million club option for 2008. It was an easy call. Izturis, who finished up a three-year deal he originally signed as a Dodger, gets a $300,000 buyout. He could serve as a stopgap starter at shortstop in Tampa Bay or St. Louis. It's also possible that he'll become a utilityman on a contender.