The Tampa Bay Rays went into Sunday’s matchup with the Boston Red Sox riding a 9 game winning streak. Scouts have been at David Price starts like crazy to watch the superstar ace for Tampa Bay. It looked like a forgone conclusion through May and June that the Rays were definitely going to be moving Price at the July 31st trade deadline. But then July hit and suddenly the Rays woke up. The Rays kept hanging around and hanging around. Now, they’ve gone 9-1 in their past ten games and currently sit just 4.5 games out of a wild card spot in the American League.
So, the answer to my question posed is a simple no. David Price is going to remain a Tampa Bay Ray if you ask me because moving him makes no sense. Sure the Rays are in a small market and Price is going to make a lot after arbitration this offseason but the Rays are going to make a playoff push. They’ve improved over the past month and a half or so, especially by getting Jeremy Hellickson back and healthy. They’ve been a good team and their recent success shows that they’re going to stay that way. Unless some GM is really going to mortgage the farm system for Price, I don’t think the Rays will move Price.
It also still isn’t impossible for the Rays to be in the division race down to the end of the year. This team was down 9 games from a Wild Card spot to the Boston Red Sox with a month left to play in the season a few years back. The Rays are gritty and they don’t go away. Getting rid of Price would be a way of giving up on this season but hope shouldn’t be lost. The Rays are only 7.5 games back of AL East-leading Baltimore but the division is wide open. It’s been that way all season, seeing the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles both spending extended periods of time at the top.
With that being said, if I were to play Rays GM Andrew Friedman, I would tell all teams that unless they have a huge package deal of prospects for David Price then he’s staying right where he is. The Rays aren’t done and history suggests as much. When it comes to being the underdog, this team always has the never give up mentality that it takes to pull off minor miracles like the one they pulled off a few years back. Don’t sleep on the Rays and don’t be shocked if Price stays in Tampa Bay.