In an interview with WEEI in Boston, Peter Gammons said that “people in Seattle” thought they were close to a trade with the Rays for Zobrist, but that the Rays backed off. More importantly, the Rays are now telling teams that they will wait until the deadline to make a decision on trading their key players.
They actually can keep thinking, ‘We have a chance.’ I know this: Tampa Bay really thinks it has a chance. Now their pitching has come back together again, I talked to people in Seattle who thought they were very close to a deal for Ben Zobrist and they said the Rays pulled back the last couple of days because they want to take it right down to the last 48 hours before the deadline.
First the Rays were said to be waiting until the All-Star break to make a decision. But the Rays’ current 5-game winning streak appears to once again have the Rays postponing any decision on whether to trade David Price and/or Ben Zobrist or to keep both and make a run for the playoffs.
Of course, the most surprising aspect of these comments is that Gammons was actually able to comment on the Rays without trashing the attendance, but I digress.
But the Rays are still a long-shot to make the playoffs despite their recent surge, with BaseballProspectus giving them an 8.2% chance.
But there is another risk to holding on to Price and Zobrist. There may never be a better time to trade such big fish, with several experts calling this the ultimate seller’s market, with so few difference-makers available.
You can be sure that the Wall Streeters in the Rays front office are salivating at the possibility of what they could get in return.
Yesterday we took a look at the market and it sounds like teams are ramping up their efforts. At some point, a team is going to make an offer that will tempt the Rays. It will be interesting to see if they jump at it.