Jul 30, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcherDavid Price
(14) reacts during the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Cardinals are likely out on Price after acquiring John Lester from the Red Sox for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. The Rays were heavily rumored to have interest in Oscar Tavaras if they dealt Price to St. Louis but after already moving one outfielder, it’s unlikely the Cardinals move another, thus diminishing the chance of a Rays/Cardinals trade.
The Major League Baseball trade deadline ends today at 4pm EST, and so far, the Tampa Bay Rays have remained quiet. That is in spite of a variety of rumors that have surrounded the club during the past week. The big blockbuster trade of the day so far has been the Oakland Athletics acquiring SP Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes from the Boston RedSox in exchange for OF Yoenis Cespedes and a compensatory draft pick. The A’s turned around and sent SP Tommy Milone, a serviceable 4th or 5th starting pitcher to the Minnesota Twins for OF Sam Fuld.
What impact does this have on the Tampa Bay Rays and their trade deadline potential? One could argue that it is a sellers market, given the return for Fuld and Lester. Lester has only 2 months of control left on his contract and it is hard to imagine the A’s have the ability to resign the left-hander after the season. Compare this to David Price, who is under contract for all of 2015, and you can imagine that the return for Price could net the Rays much more than what Boston received (a ML ready bat with significant power).
Add in the fact that Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings are arguably more valuable than Sam Fuld (who netted a 4/5th MLB ready starting pitcher), and you can begin to understand the temptation to make moves at the deadline. Todd Kalas was on MLBNetwork discussing the potential for a Rays trade, and he suggested the audience follow Jon Morosi of Fox Sports:
This would seem to indicate that a) the market for SP is diminishing and thus Price’s value has increased, and b) the return for Lester was good enough that Price should have the ability to net the Rays even more value. This tweet was quickly followed by:
The Tampa Bay Rays have been playing excellent baseball over the past month, having won 11 of their past 13 games. With that said, they haven’t made up serious ground on the AL East division leading Baltimore Orioles (8 GB) and are still 5.5 games back in the Wild Card (with 5 teams ahead of them).
Personally, I believe the only way that David Price gets traded is if he goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers or the St. Louis Cardinals. Both of those teams have the prospects and potential MLB ready talent to generate a high enough return value for Price’s services. With that said, LA general manager Ned Coletti has been quoted by saying that his team is “not in the market to trade any of the three, period,” referencing the top three prospects in their system (h/t Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times). It should turn out to be an interesting afternoon regardless.