Who is ready to buy David Price? Step right up. Because everyone knows that Price is on the market, for the same reasons as Jeff Samardzija was before him.
Price is preparing to get paid handsomely in free agency after the 2015 season, like Samardzija, and the Rays aren't the type of team that are willing to pay a hefty price for a guy like David Price if they aren't in a position to compete for a World Series title.
Heck, they might not even be in a position to do it if they are a competitor. The Rays would prefer, like so many other teams, to ride it out with younger pitcher that isn't yet arbitration-eligible.
The price for Price
The Rays are realistically not going to sell Price cheap. They will remain patient for the right offer.
They'll also likely have to trade Price to a contender, because a building team that has a bunch of prospects like the Chicago Cubs or Houston Astros isn't going to want to pay big money for Price this year and next. They would be more likely to be in that market during free agency before the 2016 season when they are ready to compete.
Two of the other big buyers, the Athletics and Angels, have already made their moves by sending away prospects for pitching. They don't have enough left to get Price.
"It's a specialized market," one executive told ESPN.com's Buster Olney recently. "I don't think a lot of teams have the kind of prospects they would require, and on top of that, how many teams can absorb a $20 million-plus salary for next year?"
Who can buy - AL?
Maybe the Yankees would be in the market, sitting tied for second in the AL East heading into Saturday's game. With Masahiro Tanaka out with an elbow injury, it would make sense.
The Yankees would have to be willing to part with hitting prospects like Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams or a pitcher like lefty 2013 first-rounder Ian Clarkin to make it happen.
The same is true with the Blue Jays and moving pitching prospects Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna or Daniel Norris.
Both of those teams would be hard sells for the Rays, who have struggled this season but might not want to send their best pitcher to a division rival.
Who can buy - NL?
A look at the National League buyers shows the Dodgers, Giants, Brewers, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Braves and Nationals as potential buyers.
The Cardinals and Dodgers are the most likely to be willing to take on the salary, though the Braves might consider it too.
The Dodgers are probably the most likely, with guys like Zach Lee, Chris Anderson, Chris Lee and Julio Urias as trade bait. They would love to replace struggling Dan Haren in the rotation.
“We’re OK,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told the Los Angeles Times recently. “I have confidence in Danny, and I feel like Josh is doing well. So I’m not really, at this point, really concerned.”
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