The Tampa Bay Rays are still willing to trade David Price, but they would have to be overwhelmed with an offer to do so.
Tampa has gone 23-11 since June 10, cutting their deficit in the American League East in half.
“Like the offseason, they budgeted to keep him and go for it and will do that or they will trade him if they get a knockout deal,” one AL executive said. “Nothing has changed. This is an organization that always believes in staying flexible.”
The Rays know they can’t keep Price, who will likely see his salary climb to near $20 million in arbitration this winter, but a trade can wait.
“I think they take it down to the [July 31] wire,” a special assistant to a general manager said. “That allows them to make sure they know who they are while making a couple of teams sweat to the end that one of their competitors are going to get him. For example, if the Dodgers think St. Louis will get him and have a clearer path to the NL title, does that make the Dodgers blink and give up more? It wouldn’t surprise me if Price actually ends up a July 31 decision.”