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2014 MLB Free Agency: Rays P David Price Will He Stay Or Go?

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Will David Price  stay with the Tampa Bay Rays that is the biggest question heading into the off-season? Now that the season is over for him there’s been plenty of speculation that there are teams with heavy interest for one of the best left-handed starters in baseball. It’s obvious the Rays organization doesn’t have the deep pockets of Boston or New York in the American League East.

Making it interesting to figure out where exactly the ideal landing spot for him will be. He also could stay with the organization that drafted him no.1 overall in 2007. He certainly got criticized for last night’s performance against the Boston Red Sox. Price did struggle with an injury to begin the season, yet finished the year strong before faltering in his final start of the 2013 season. Begging the question to how come the Rays will think of trading one of their best pitchers?

Trading him doesn’t make sense for a majority of teams in fact he’d be the starter to build the rotation around, yet this is Tampa Bay a team that operates on one of the smallest payrolls in MLB and still remains competitive in the American League East. With no new stadium coming in the near future, the team will continue to struggle to bring in fans to see games at Tropicana Field. If a deal does get made here are some of the possible teams that will look to land him:

1. Cleveland Indians- The Indians may choose to upgrade their rotation. Though it’s more likely the team will look at free agents rather than “mortgaging their future” with prospects like Francisco Lindor. The Rays will likely have interest in the future gold glove candidate Shortstop. The Tribe would rather hold on to Lindor as they have stated numerous times. Indians have the budget  to at least entertain the idea of trading for Price because of last season’s TV deal with Fox Sports Ohio. Will the Indians hold on to Scott Kazmir, the former Rays’ ace? If not, that will open up a spot in the starting rotation.

This will be the place for Price if the Indians are willing to gamble. There is no guarantee the Tribe is interested in trying their luck at the Horseshoe Casino any time soon. If they press their luck, the gamble will pay off.

The management has made one thing clear: They are ready and willing to spend money. The Indians are developing an improved policy of spending money to make this team the new king of the division. Money will not likely be a factor in the Indians decision to go after David Price or stay put. Some fans will question this analysis based on the Indians history of being a low budget team.  However, the Indians proved they are moving  in a different direction. Just ask Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn. Those were “unrealistic signings” and they happened anyway. The Indians and the fan base should be open to blockbuster possibilities this offseason since they proved anything can happen.

2. Kansas City Royals– The Royals love a strong rotation. They have Ervin Santana and James Shields. Why not pull off another blockbuster move and have a really strong piece to contend with Detroit and Cleveland? Is the budget there to make it happen?

3. Los Angeles Dodgers– The Dodgers are the second richest team in baseball.  Los Angeles might take a gander at the possibility of  adding  Price to already powerful rotation of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Their dominance of the National League  West will be certain if they pull this one off. The Dodgers are the second richest team in baseball according to Forbes magazine. They have the money to pull it off. Will they want Price? Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, and Ted Lilly will likely be off the injured reserve list.

4. Boston Red Sox– Not likely the top destination for Price. The last thing the Rays want to do is trade away Price to a division rival. The Red Sox will need to tempt the Rays with solid young pitching or a big bat from the minors.

5. Seattle Mariners The Mariners  have a few really outstanding young players that are already on the 25 man roster. They would love to have another great SP but the cost may be too high. First baseman Justin Smoak would likely interest the Rays but will Seattle be willing to swap him for Price?

6. Texas Rangers– The Rangers already have Yu Darvish and Matt Garza. If they have any pieces to trade and are willing to do it, Texas may be a hot destination for Price.  The budget must also be there too and the Rangers have a high payroll already. The contracts with Darvish, Garza, and Ian Kinslerare big money contracts.

It would be a tough move for the Rangers. Price is likely to be traded. If there is any chance the Rays can keep him on the roster for at least the next two years, then it’s certain he will stay.

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