With the Rays falling to last place in the American League East, the organization could easily unload the most expensive player on the roster as soon as possible, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (subscription required):
Rival officials are monitoring the market in the way that meteorologists follow weather patterns, and they believe that the Rays are prepared to move the former Cy Young Award winner. As in, right now.
The Rays aren’t actually close to trading Price, according to sources. But the climate is right, given Price’s impending free agency after 2015 and Tampa Bay’s shockingly poor play this season.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of teams lining up to trade for the former Cy Young award winner. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times provides a list of organizations scouting the talented lefty:
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports also adds the Los Angeles Angels as a possible destination:
Price, 28, has had an up-and-down season in 2014, but he is not getting much help from his teammates as he is on pace for just his second losing season of his career. However, he just completed a dominant June where he totaled at least seven innings with double-digit strikeouts and three or fewer earned runs in every start.
Unfortunately, he managed to go just 2-3 in those five starts.
Price also spoke about his recent performances (via Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune):
The fact that Price is able to compete at this level despite the constant distractions is quite impressive. He explained to reporters that the trade talks have entered his mind, via ESPN.com:
I mean, obviously I think about it. That’s why I’ve been in a bad mood the last week and a half. I think about it. You guys know that. And it’s nothing I really want to talk about. I don’t have an answer for you guys. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know when I’m going. So there’s nothing I can really comment on.
These comments seem to indicate that it is not a question of if he will be traded, but when.
Any trade would obviously cost a lot in prospects, but the team bringing him in would get a legitimate left-handed ace that could make the difference between a solid season and a World Series title.
With Price still relatively young and being under team control through the 2015 season, this will be a worthwhile deal for many squads in the coming weeks.
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