For the latter part of this past offseason and the 1st half of the 2014 season, there have been rumors floating around about the Tampa Bay Rays possibly trading (or should trade) their ace pitcher David Price.
With the Rays not showing much of a sign making a playoff run and swapping last place here and there with the Red Sox, it makes sense to move Price. On the other side, anything can happen in the second half.
Tampa Bay, however, has mentioned that their ace pitcher will stick around if they’re still in the thick of any race whether it’s the American League race or wild card race.
Price’s numbers are impressive this season: a 9-7 record with a 3.23 ERA and also notching up 164 strikeouts this season, which are a major league best.
His 147.2 innings pitched also this season are a major league best as well.
The only downfall to Price’s numbers this season are his home runs allowed, which are a staggering 19 that tied for 2nd most in the MLB with two other pitchers. The Rays pitcher throughout his career, however, has been known to give up a heavy amount of home runs (106 total for his career and 17.6 on average).
But that doesn’t stop teams from landing a pitcher of his caliber and making him an ace of their squad. Teams like the Cubs, Braves, and possibly some teams in the American League West (mostly the Mariners and Angels) have spiked rumors about nabbing Price for their rotation.
The Dodgers and Cardinals have also popped up in the rumor mill surrounding Price. Cardinals are ones that stand out the most with quality pitchers Michael Wacha out with a shoulder injury and Jaime Garcia who is out for the season.
It’s unclear if Price wants to pitch for a team that’s in rebuilding mode (ex: Cubs) or a team that is ready to win and make a deep playoff run (ex: Braves).
Whatever he decides or wherever the Rays decide to send him, Price will most likely not settle with a middle of the rotation spot. If he ends up on a team like the Cubs, it’s a sure guarantee he’ll be their top-tier hurler.
If Price ends up with a team like the Braves, he’ll have to “compete” with their ace Julio Teheran, who has a 2.71 ERA and 136.1 innings pitched.
It could be a realistic scenario that a player like Price wants a World Series trophy but the Rays have been a playoff driven team since their WS appearance in 2008. So with that being said, maybe the Rays don’t want to move Price.
The only problem is it might be tough for Tampa Bay to keep him around if they can’t necessarily afford his all-star status.
Via ESPN, David himself admitted a couple days ago he would like to stay with the Rays but the financial limitations have become a grip, so in reality Price is looking for something long-term. But, the Rays ace understands if he has to be traded to another team.
It’s a slight issue that has been occurring since the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with Price wondering if the Rays will pull enough money around to keep him in Tampa.
The 2nd half will not only be interesting for it’s pressing and tight playoff race but the anticipation of a handful of deals before the July 31 trade deadline.
We’ll have to wait and see if David Price is one of those deals. It’ll keep baseball fans wondering if it is ready for the clock to tick on his time in a Rays uniform.