Tim Sharp/Associated Press
The David Price (pictured) trade talk has never really heated up to the point that was expected this offseason. In fact, Buster Olney of ESPN is hearing (Insider subscription required) from rival executives that the perception is that the 28-year-old ace will stay put and take the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day.
While there's always a chance that the Rays will be blown away with an offer between now and the start of the season, it would be hard to envision a scenario where they can trade Price now and still put together a strong enough 25-man roster to compete in the AL East.
That doesn't mean they couldn't get a fair offer. But a trade package would likely include young and unproven talent. They were able to trade away James Shields for a package of young talent last offseason, but that was much less risky with Price still in the fold. They don't have that luxury this time around.
After making several moves to solidify their bullpen, along with the re-signing of David DeJesus and James Loney, the Rays are in good shape to build on their 92-win season from 2013 in which they went to the playoffs for the fourth time in six seasons.
If the plan was to trade away their best pitcher, it would've made more sense for them to do it early in the offseason so they'd have a better chance to re-invest the savings—Price will make $14 million in 2014 and is eligible for arbitration prior to the 2015 season—into helping to fill the void. It's probably too late for that now.
This notion that the Rays will hold on to Price is FACT.