The Rays made it clear they would have preferred to keep RHP Gary Glover around. They just didn't have anywhere to put him.
"There's just no room at the inn right now," Manager Joe Maddon said Monday.
With Glover more than ready to come off the 15-day disabled list, the Rays took the only avenue available to them and designated the veteran reliever for assignment. They'll have 10 days in which to trade Glover or put him through waivers. If he clears waivers, he can elect to become a free agent or accept an assignment to Durham.
Maddon was unambiguous when asked what he would prefer. "It'd be awesome" if Glover remained in the organization, he said. "We'd like to see that happen."
The move was not a surprise, as Glover was sent home to Tampa following Sunday's game rather than accompanying the team from Kansas City to Toronto. He probably would have gotten the ax a week earlier, when Troy Percival was ready to come off the disabled list, but a trip to the DL with a left calf strain bought some more time.
At 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA in 29 relief appearances, Glover's numbers didn't demand he be kept around. Add in the emergence of Grant Balfour and the Rays' desire to keep Jason Hammel in a long-relief role and Glover was the only logical choice to go.
"Gary has been a big part of our bullpen the last year and a half," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "With various guys healthy, it became a numbers game but it certainly wasn't an easy decision."
DO IT AGAIN: RHP Matt Garza knows he has a tough act to follow tonight against RHP Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays.
Ten days ago at Tropicana Field, Garza turned in a dazzling performance to out-pitch Toronto's ace. Garza allowed two hits and didn't walk a batter in 72/3 shutout innings.
It isn't a feat easily repeated, but Garza will give it a shot.
"It's going to be toe-to-toe and I'm going to have to race Halladay to seven innings again," Garza said. "If I can get to nine, great, but I'm going to try to race him to seven and see if we can put some numbers up and if I can keep some numbers off."
TRADE WINDS: Three days from the non-waiver trade deadline, the Rays continue to pop up in rumors about various players, but there was nothing substantive to report Monday.
Tampa Bay seems to be focusing primarily on acquiring bullpen help, with a handful of lefties in the mix. Seattle's Arthur Rhodes and Atlanta's Will Ohman are on the radar, and ESPN.com reported Monday night that Cubs LHP Scott Eyre might be made available. He, too, would be likely to garner some interest from the Rays.
Other reports have linked the Rays to Braves 1B Mark Teixeira and Mariners 3B Adrian Beltre, though history suggests Friedman will find an under-the-radar solution.
Friedman reiterated that conversations are ongoing, but otherwise had nothing else to add.
ROCCO WATCH: In a preplanned move, Rocco Baldelli came on to pinch-hit in the sixth inning Monday night for Montgomery and remained in the game in right field.
The Rays wanted to see how he would respond in the type of role he might be asked to play when he makes it back to the majors.
BIG PAPA: DH Cliff Floyd was back in the clubhouse Monday after missing the previous two games following the birth of his third child.
It was an anxiety-ridden trip for the veteran, who got word before batting practice Friday that the baby was on the way but was unable to get a flight out of Kansas City that night. So he played, going 0-for-5, before flying through Nashville on Saturday morning to get back to Tampa.
He didn't make it to the hospital in Clearwater before his wife, Maryanne, gave birth to daughter Layla Marlee, but he wasn't dwelling on that.
"Walking in was just as great as being there," Floyd said. "Walking in and being able to hold her when I got there was unbelievable."