Trade deadline update: Price to Tigers in 3-team deal
UPDATE, 4:40: The deal has not been announced officially, but reportedly the Rays return for Price is LHP Drew Smyly, who is 6-9, 3.77 for the Tigers; INF Nick Franklin, who has spent much of the season at Triple-A for the Mariners; and 18-year-old SS Willy Adames, a Class A player who is the Tigers No. 4 prospect.
UPDATE, 4:16: Price is going to the Tigers; the Rays are getting back INF Nick Franklin from the Mariners and LHP Drew Smyly from the Tigers, and at least one other lesser player from Tigers.
UPDATE, 4:01: Confirmed that Rays have traded Price and he is going to the Tigers.
UPDATE, 3:58: Nothing confirmed but reports are that Price goes to Detroit, with the Rays getting LHP Drew Smyly and INF Nick Franklin. OF Austin Jackson goes to Mariners. May be more pieces.
UPDATE, 3:52: It is indeed the Tigers who will get Price, MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal says. Rays will get 1 or 2 big-leaguers back in the 3-team deal. If it is Seattle, INF Nick Franklin would be likely to come to the Rays if Seattle is the third team.
UPDATE, 3:31: The Rays trade involving Price is a three-team deal. Best guess at this point would be with Mariners and Tigers.
UPDATE, 3:21: The Tigers may be the favorites, and the Dodgers may be out. Could also be a three-way deal involving the Mariners.
UPDATE, 3:02: With one hour to go, still no details on where the Rays are sending Price, or who else might be going.
UPDATE, 2:13: Price's camp has not heard anything yet. The Dodgers, Pirates, Mariners and Tigers are considered most likely to make the deal.
UPDATE, 1:54: Have been told a deal is coming. Fox Sports reports Rays and Dodgers have talked today about Price, so maybe it is them after all.
UPDATE, 1:49: Ebb and flow of trade deadline, Joel Sherman says on MLB Network Rays are definitely moving Price.
UPDATE, 1:11: The Cardinals acquired a second starter not named David Price, getting RHP John Lackey from Boston in return for 1B/OF Allen Craig and RHP Joe Kelly.
UPDATE, 11:32: One possible fallout from the A's acquisition of Lester is that it could stir the Angels to be more aggressive in their pursuit of Price, though they don't seem to have the high-end prospects in their system. Maybe this could to one of those complicated three-way deals that Friedman often works on.
UPDATE, 11:07: The A's made another smaller deal but with a familiar name, reacquiring former Rays OF Sam Fuld, who started the year with them, from the Twins for now expendable starter Tommy Milone.
UPDATE, 9:57: The first major deal of the day is somewhat of a surprise, the Oakland A's, who had previously traded for two starters, have acquired Lester - and ex-Ray Jonny Gomes - from the Red Sox for OF Yeonis Cespedes, per multiple media reports.
Cespedes is a free agent after the 2015 season. Oakland is reportedly also sending a competitive balance draft pick to Boston; the Red Sox including cash in the deal.
That wouldn't seem to directly impact the Rays' decision to trade Price, as the A's had not been considered one of the prime candidates, and could increase the market as teams that didn't get Lester may come back to the Rays.
DEVELOPING: With the 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver trades finally approaching, the Rays are heading toward decision time on trading ace LHP David Price, as well as INF/OF Ben Zobrist and possibly others.
The Rays are off today, and find themselves eight games behind the Orioles in the AL East race and 5 1/2 back of the Jays - and with four teams in the way - for the second wild-card. Baseball Prospectus gives them only a 3.8 percent chance to win the division and 6.7 to win that wild card. Fangraphs.com has their odds at 4.9 and 6.9 percent.
Here is the latest from overnight Wednesday, compiled from sources and media reports, with the provisos that things are constantly subject to chance and not everyone tells the truth this time of year:
* The Mariners remain actively engaged on both Price and Zobrist, among players on other teams, and said to have offers out. They could offer an interesting package of players, headlined by pitching prospects Taijuan Walker and/or James Paxton, C Mike Zunino (a Cape Coral Mariner and UF product), INF Nick Frankin (the Orlando area product the Rays really like) and 3B prospect D.J Peterson. Mariners scouts had been watching Rays minor leaguers recently, which could mean there is a large deal that includes the Rays putting in more.
* The Dodgers, long considered the best fit for the Rays on a Price deal, don't appear willing to make the kind of deal it would take, involving some combination of top prospects P Julio Urias, OF Joc Pederson and INF Corey Seager. "We're not in the market to trade any of the three, period,'' GM Ned Colletti told reporters late Wednesday. "There's been no player discussed that warrants two of the three.''
* The Pirates, Brewers and Marlins are three teams also looking to add a high end starter that have young players/prospects and could end up emerging as possibilities during the day. And, though unlikely, the Cubs have to at least be considered given their stash of top-end position player prospects.
* The Cardinals seemed to satisfy their need for a pitcher in acquiring Justin Masterson from Cleveland, but didn't give up any of the top young talent it would take to get Price, or Lester, so it's possible they could remain an option.
* Boston's efforts to trade LHP Jon Lester include several of the same teams rumored to be interested in Price, which could complicate matters for both teams. The Cardinals and Pirates were reported to be most involved as of Wednesday night. The prime difference is that Lester is a free agent after this season and Price is under team control through 2015 - with an expected arbitration salary of $18-20-million next year - and then a free agent in 2016.
* Zobrist is also a popular target for the A's, and other teams.
* Price said after Wednesday's game that he expects to stay with the Rays, "Absolutely. Manager Joe Maddon said he felt the same way, suggesting no team had yet met the Rays justifiably high demands: "It takes two to dance, boys," Maddon said after the game. "It takes a partner, and it takes a partner with some gumption and (who) wants to do something. If you can't find that partner, it isn't going to happen. So I don't know if there's a whole lot of folks out there like that these days."
* Rays scouts were reportedly in recent days watching the Yankees Double-A team which includes several of their top prospects.
* RHP Grant Balfour knows he could be a trade candidate; as he was heading out of the clubhouse Wednesday someone said, "See you Friday,' and he replied, "I hope so.''