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Tampa Bay Rays Rumors: Jonathan Broxton Interested In Florida?

The Tampa Bay Rays have been quite busy in recent days, trading catcher John Jaso for reliever Josh Lueke and signing catcher Jose Molina to a deal, but they may not be done yet. They Rays are still in the hunt to add one more arm to their bullpen, and today’s rumor about Jonathan Broxton was potentially promising:

Broxton friend told me all things being equal wants to be close to Ga home. #Braves unlikely, maybe #Marlins or #Rays make sense (Joel Sherman, NY Post)

Broxton has broken off talks with the Dodgers, and it appears that he’s serious about wanting to return to the southeast. There have been rumors of a number of teams interested in him (up to 10, supposedly), but if he’s only looking at teams near his home, then that would certainly give the Rays an edge.

While there have been no official rumors that the Rays are interested in Broxton, their front office is notoriously quiet. It’s likely that they are interested in Broxton due to his tremendous upside – 2.61 ERA, 1.97 FIP in 2009 – and the fact that his recent health problems would make him an ideal buy low candidate. If the Rays offer him an incentive laden contract and Broxton wants to move to the area, it could make for the perfect match.

Of course, this rumor could simply be a negotiating tactic by Broxton’s agent as he tries to get more money from the Dodgers, and it may be that Broxton’s medical situation is too risky even for the Rays. There’s no telling what may happen at this point, but taken at face value, this is an encouraging sign for Rays fans.

For more on the Tampa Bay Rays, join the conversation at SB Nation’s blog on the Rays, DRaysBay.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.