With just over five weeks left before the trade deadline, it appears that the chances of the Rays dealing left-hander David Price are increasing rapidly. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, "it has become increasingly obvious that the Rays likely-- if not absolutely, positively-- are going to trade Price over the next 5 1/2 weeks until the July 31 deadline".
Topkin notes that most people within baseball believe that the Dodgers are the favorite to land Price, but also lists the Cardinals, Giants, Braves, Marlins, Angels, Athletics and Indians as possible destinations. The Rays would prefer to send Price to a National League team and would probably not trade him to an AL East rival.
Price, who turns 29 in August, has pitched to a 5-7 record and 3.81 ERA in 16 starts with Tampa this season. The Rays currently have the worst record in all of baseball at 30-46 and sit twelve games back of the AL East-leading Blue Jays, meaning that they have likely given up on their chances to contend this season and are more willing to deal Price for a large haul of prospects this summer.
Price is under control through the 2015 season, meaning that any team that acquires him would get a year and a half of his services as well as two potential playoff runs with him as part of the staff. The Rays have historically gotten good hauls of prospects for their aces, sending Matt Garza to the Cubs for Hak-Ju Lee and Chris Archer and nabbing Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery from the Royals for James Shields.
At this point, it seems like a Price trade could happen soon, and is very likely to occur before the July 31 deadline. Although Jeff Samardzija and a couple other front-line starters are potential trade candidates, Price seems to be the most coveted arm on the market right now.