To trade, or not to trade, that is the question that looms over both the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals. The rumors already are circulating about who would be involved. On the Rays end, people are saying either David Price outright, or Price and Ben Zobrist. The Cardinals on the other hand have not had one specific targeted player. Sure, both Shelby Miller and Oscar Taveras are the most mentioned, but the Rays have so far done a good job of not saying openly what they want.
In these deals, the Rays typically ask for top hitting and pitching prospects that can be controlled for a long period of time. In the James Shields deal, they got top hitting prospect Wil Myers from the Kansas City Royals and will be looking for the same if this deal goes down.
Personally I believe the deal should go down if you can spare Taveras from being the key piece. He is ranked as high as he is on the prospects list for a reason. But David Price is one of the best pitchers in the game.
Now each team has things the other wants. The ideal trade for both would be:
From Tampa Bay: David Price, Ben Zobrist, Blake Snell
This deal does favor Tampa Bay, as it should. It offers a pitcher (or two) and two outfielders that have reasonable contracts. Yes, Craig is having a bad year, but he will come around. He’s in this deal because of his hitting potential and ability to DH. If the Rays need a better defender in right field, but want his bat, they have that ability.
The Cardinals get an ace for the rest of this year and next year. It frees up room for both Taveras and Stephen Piscotty to get time in right field. Both are the top two prospects on the team and are upgrades defensively. Plus you get a utility man in Zobrist who is a career .263 hitter who can play everyday.
Will this trade be completed? Who knows. The three teams in the fight are the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Mariners. If the Dodgers are seriously pursuing him, then the Cardinals have to get Price in order to stay a favorite to be there in the postseason.