The Tampa Bay Rays are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. They are an organization with World Series aspirations but poor play and a rash of injuries has them 14 games under .500 and 10 games behind the division leading Toronto Blue Jays. While only the end of June, the Rays would need a miracle to win the AL East or even score a Wildcard berth. That brings us to David Price.
David Price is still under team control through the end of the 2015 season. If the Rays wait until next year to make a move with him then any interested teams will have to surrender draft pick compensation. That compensation tends negatively affect a player’s trade value. However, if the Rays trade him this year then interested clubs will not be held to the same draft pick stipulations.
Back in January I suggested that David Price would not finish the year in Tampa and it looks like I might be right. The trade talk around Price is really heating up as of late. Many extra scouts have been seen at his last couple of starts to include, but not limited to, the Yankees, Blue Jays, Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Dodgers and Braves. There has been other speculation around the Athletics, Giants and the Marlins but I cannot see that working out for any of those teams.
The Rays, when pulling the trigger, have a history of getting a lot for players. When the Rays traded Matt Garza they added a couple of top prospects. When they traded James Shields to the Royals they nabbed Wil Myers along with other touted players. Now they are looking at trading the prized, Cy Young award winning chip in their arsenal so you can expect a haul. But what teams are probably pretenders and which others might actually pull off a deal?
Cleveland Indians- The Indians have been mentioned in a couple of reports but I just not see them offering enough to add Price. Besides, under .500 with no real sign of greatness in the second half, what is the value added over the long haul especially since this is not a team with a top-5 payroll to offer Price. Chances: Not Likely
St Louis Cardinals- While the Cardinals clearly have the minor league depth to pull off such a trade they also lack the need for a front line starter. It is unlikely that the Cardinals would move such talent at the cost required to add Price. Chances: Not Likely but Possible
New York Yankees – The Yankees are a team built to win now. They are also a ball club that needs to add some help to Masahiro Tanaka and crew. However, they do not have the prospect depth that other teams have available. There is also not a bunch of salary relief to help out the Rays in this situation. Besides, why would they trade him in the AL East unless the deal was incredible? Chances: Not Likely
Toronto Blue Jays – Another AL East team, which put the Blue Jays at disadvantage out of the gate, that does not appear to have what the Rays might want. Aaron Sanchez and Alberto Tirado are players that the Blue Jays would probably offer. However, it is unlikely that the Rays would part with Price to add pitchers with walk issues since it is not really how the team operates. They would also have to add a bat of relevance which would force them to absorb a large portion of their contract. I just cannot see any way. Chances: Not Likely
Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers have something that the Rays would be interested in. That piece is Joc Pederson the best outfield prospect in their system. The Dodgers will not have an everyday position for Pederson in the near future so he is most likely available. The question here is whether the Dodgers will offer the needed price to add to a rotation that already includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett and Ryu. I am just not convinced of the need. Chances: Could Happen
Kansas City Royals – The Royals have a history with the Rays now after the Wil Myers and Co. trade for James Shields. Would the Royals benefit from taking another Rays starter? Absolutely, but do they really want to give their whole farm system to the Rays. Any movement would probably include Kyle Zimmer plus more to consummate the deal. I just think at this point the Royals might be looking for a bat or two instead of pitching. Chances: Not Likely
Now anything is possible and you can expect to hear more over the coming days. With that in mind I will continue to follow this and provide my top two landing spots for Price over the next couple of days. Until then, sit back and enjoy the rumor and drama that comes with July in every MLB season.