The Tampa Bay Rays and their ace starting pitcher, David Price, have found themselves at the center of attention around the league as the trade deadline approaches. Price has found himself in this position before, but has always ended up staying with the team that he has played for since entering the league in 2008. It is no secret that both Price and manager Joe Maddon would love for him to stay with the last place Rays, but due to budget concerns by the front office, it has seemed as though this would be a very unlikely scenario.
There are, however, a few reasons why the former Cy Young winner could find himself wearing a Tampa Bay uniform for the rest of the season. For one, the Rays have looked better in the last week than they have all season. They have won five of their last six games, including taking three of four from the Baltimore Orioles last weekend. Another thing that is helping Price’s chances of staying with the Rays is the fact that the rest of the AL East has not played very well this season, which has allowed them to hold on to a shred of hope of winning the division. The Toronto Blue Jays are currently in first place with a record of 45-39, which puts them 9.5 games ahead of the Rays. Finally, the cost to trade for David Price may be too high for most teams. A trade for Price would give a team his services for a season and a half, which means that the Rays would be expecting quite a bit in return for the lefty.
There are many teams that have been reported to be interested in adding Price to their rotations. Of the teams expressing interest, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Atlanta Braves appear to be some of the most likely destinations, given the fact that the Rays would prefer to send their ace to a National League team. Another team that continues to pop up in the Price conversation, however, is the New York Yankees. The Yankees are certainly in need of an additional dominant starting pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka has had a Cy Young worthy year, but due to CC Sabathia’s health and performance concerns, the Yankees will need another strong arm to have any chance at making the postseason. The problem for the Yankees is that they may have to surrender even more than other clubs to land Price, because the Rays will surely not want to be facing their former ace on a regular basis. As we all know though, anything is possible with the Bombers, and they realistically could make an offer so good that the Rays could not possibly refuse it.
The trade deadline comes at the end of this month, which means we should likely be finding out the answers to all of the questions surrounding Price very soon. Although he has admitted that he has been in a bad mood amidst all of the rumors surrounding him, all of this drama may end up helping the Rays. Perhaps this was exactly the morale booster that the team needs after what has been a disaster of a season. In addition to playing for a playoff spot, the Rays now have the added motivation of playing to keep one of their teammates in the locker room for the rest of 2014 and beyond. If the Rays can get on a real hot streak, and Price continues to pitch as well as he has for the last month, the Rays’ front office may have no choice but to keep him at the front of their rotation.
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