Winter meetings update: Maddon says Price trade would be devastating, but ...
UPDATE, 11:17: Free-agent RHP Jamey Wright is deciding between staying with the Rays and returning to the Dodgers, for whom he pitched in 2012, Fox Sports reported.
DEVELOPING: Rays manager Joe Maddon drew a large crowd for his Monday media session at the winter meetings, where a potential trade of ace David Price was, of course, a popular topic:
* Maddon said if Price were to be traded the word that comes to mind is "devastating" but also how they have to do business. (see more below)
* He indicated he felt it would be more likely to happen during the winter than during the season.
* Jake Odorizzi would be the leading candidate to take the open spot in the rotation, though its also possible the Rays would explore adding a mid-tier veteran starter (or they could get one back in a trade).
* Alex Cobb would be the likely candidate to take over as the leader of the staff.
* Maddon talked to free agent 1B James Loney just before Thanksgiving and said they had a nice talk (including Maddon's comments about Loney deserving the Gold Glove) but didn't get a sense if Loney is likely to return.
"He was very non-committal in his conversation. He was very nice, very cordial, very good. But I think he's in a position right now to probably go after the best contract he's ever going to get. So do I blame him? No. Do I want him back? Yes."
* Maddon raved about the catching depth the Rays have with the addition of Ryan Hanigan and re-signing of Jose Molina though Jose Lobaton expected to be traded. Look for Hanigan to be the primary starter.
* Maddon said he is okay with the rotating DH idea.
Here is Maddon's full quote on the Price situation:
"Well, you know, it's never a good thought to lose a player like that, the potential thought of losing a player like that. We went through the same thing last year with James. James Shields was the same kind of a pitcher, and same kind of a player within the clubhouse and the locker room.
"What I've heard is, obviously, what everybody else is hearing, there is a lot of conjecture and talk about it. When you lose a player of that magnitude, not just the fact that he's such a good pitcher, but this guy, and you guys are around him all the time, matters a lot to the clubhouse and to the team.
"Having said all those things, and again, it's just how we have to operate within our little world. So if it were to happen, it's one of those that's almost the word "devastating" in a sense, but we have to recover from those kind of moments if it does actually occur.
"Probably less likely during the course of the season, probably, but nevertheless it could happen.
But right now that is part of the war room scenario, is right now talking about all these potential things.
"But, again, guys like him are rare. David is a rare person and a rare pitcher, and from a managerial perspective, we like to keep those kind of guys.