The Rays probably can’t keep ace David Price, and they’re expected to take a more public step in admitting that within the next few days.
Teams are preparing for Tampa Bay to start listening to offers for the lefty as soon as this week, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports. The Rays will look to get the best package possible in return — not necessarily just young talent — and think they can deal for even more than what they acquired in last year’s James Shields trade with Kansas City, according to the report.
The Mariners, Dodgers, Angels, Pirates, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays are all said to be interested. The Mariners are especially interested due to the young talent they have available and the club’s eagerness to make a splash.
Price won’t become a free agent for another two years, but trading him now would be more desirable in terms of getting talent back than waiting until next year. The Rays, however, are still contenders, and keeping Price for another season while rebuilding in other areas isn’t a bad option, either.
Price, 28, has won a Cy Young and has a 71-39 record and 3.19 ERA over six years in the big leagues. Last season, when he went 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA, was a bit of a hiccup in a career in which he’s shown the ability to log more than 200 innings, more than 200 strikeouts and as many as 20 wins a season.