Upton's off-day fuels rumors, amuses Maddon

Upton's off-day fuels rumors, amuses Maddon

KANSAS CITY -- Trade rumors involving Rays outfielder B.J. Upton continue to be prevalent. So, the fact that Upton was not in the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Royals only perpetuated that belief.

Top prospect Desmond Jennings started in center field for Sunday afternoon's game. According to Maddon, Upton did not start due to the simple fact he was due a day off.

"I had this planned before this series began," Maddon said. "He played all of those games at home on the turf. I just wanted to give his legs a break. Today was a good day, a day game after a night game like this. Then we'll go to Oakland and he'll play all of the games on the rest of the road trip."

Upton has been linked in rumors to at least six teams, so every day that he's in the Rays' clubhouse brings abuse from his teammates, who never fail to ask: "You're still here?"

Upton is hopeful he will not be traded.

"I don't want to go anywhere," he said.

Meanwhile, Maddon continues to derive a daily smile from how much is read into any of his moves concerning players rumored to be on the trading block.

"Love it," Maddon said. "And again, there's no deviousness about it. ... [Upton getting the day off] was planned. What can I say?"