ST. PETERSBURG -- If the Rays make a deal before Saturday's 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, manager Joe Maddon said it will come at the last minute.
Maddon said he talked Friday with Andrew Friedman, the team's executive vice president of baseball operations, and Tampa Bay was still involved in talks. However, he didn't think the Rays would put together an acceptable trade, adding that the chances were "less than 50 percent."
"The other-side thing, what they want in return for what we want -- you always believe it's a little too much, unfair or whatever," Maddon said. "It just keeps going back and forth. If something's going to be done, 11th hour is going to be it."
Rumors have spread that the Rays are interested in acquiring Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, who recently backed up from his initial resistance to being a team's designated hitter. Maddon, without mentioning any names, said acquiring someone specifically as a DH would be ideal for Tampa Bay, as the club is happy with the skill and versatility of its defense now.
"We don't want to do anything to impact negatively our pitching and defense, but if we can add somehow offensively, we would," Maddon said. "The offense is the variable. If we could keep all that going on and improve the variable, I think that'd be good."
If the Rays aren't able to complete a deal for Dunn or another player, Maddon won't be upset. He said the team is fine, and there are plenty of players in the Rays' farm system who could provide a boost later in the season.
"I think we still have nice pieces in the Minor Leagues. We're kind of unusual in that regard," Maddon said. "We have guys we actually like, compared to other teams where they just think, 'Well, if something happens, we have these guys.' We have guys we think can help us. There are other alternatives outside of acquiring someone else. We have that option, too."