If the Rays do not win the next two games and force a game five in the ALDS back in Boston, there are many that think David Price will never start another game for the Tampa Bay Rays. Joel Sherman of the New York Post asked nine MLB executives if the Rays will trade Price this off-season and all nine said “yes”…
“The public sentiment of the Rays is they will try to find a way to keep their ace. But it is possible his stinker Saturday — seven runs in seven-plus innings in a 7-4 Boston victory that gave the Red Sox a two-games-to-none lead in this Division Series — was his final outing for Tampa Bay…“No,” Price said when asked if he was thinking about that possibility. But, yes, was the vote of all nine executives I reached Saturday when asked if they thought Price would be dealt.”
Sherman mentions Prices salary as a big reason (“He made $10 million this year and could climb to $15 million through arbitration this offseason.”), but more importantly, Sherman points out that trading Price this winter fits the Rays’ pattern.
Sherman does make the mistake of writing that both Garza and Shields were traded two years before free agency (Garza was traded three years prior to free agency), but his point is still correct. That is, the Rays trade good pitchers sooner, rather than later.
Of course, any team that wants Price is going to have to come up with a package better than the one the Rays received for Shields or Garza. Peter Gammons spoke to one assistant GM that thinks the Dodgers have the pieces to get a deal done.
“They can afford him, and having Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Price would be unbelievable,” says one assistant GM. “I could see a deal with (SS) Corey Seager, (OF) Joc Pederson (17-year old LHP) Julio Urias and Chris Withrow. Tampa might do that.”
Sherman also mentions the Rangers, Cubs, and Diamondbacks as possible trade partners.