(BaseballStL) -- Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price is the biggest name on the trade market, and the Cardinals would love to have him. Who wouldn’t? Price leads the Major Leagues with 173 strikeouts. He’s given up a total of three earned runs in his last four starts.
Price is pitching as well as anybody in baseball right now, and could be the piece of the puzzle that would make the Cardinals a favorite to win the National League pennant.
The Rays will want a lot in any deal for Price. According to multiple reports, the Cardinals have talked with Tampa about the 28-year–old lefty pitcher. The Rays are likely demanding a package that would include Oscar Taveras or Carlos Martinez in return.
Price is making $14 million this season and is arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2015. If the Cardinals are going to part with Taveras and/or Martinez, they won’t be interested in a rental situation. They’ll want to get Price signed to a long term deal, and locking him up would almost surely cost more than $120 million.
Trading for Price would be a major roll of the dice for the Cardinals. They’d be sacrificing one or more of their elite prospects who are under their financial control, for a pitcher who may bolt for free agency after the 2015 season.
But acquiring Price would give the Cardinals a 1-2-3-4 punch, along with Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn, that would give them a dominating starting staff and a great chance to make another World Series run this season.
One thing might get in the way of a deal though. Suddenly the Rays are playing good baseball. They’ve getting back into the race. Their win on Sunday was their fifth in a row. Tampa, once given up for dead, is now eight games out in the American League East and six and a half out of the second wildcard spot.
The Rays brain trust may be changing their minds about trading Price for prospects if they feel they still have a chance to reach the playoffs this season.