David Price could still be the player that decides how the American League East is going to be settled, even though he plays for the already dead Rays of Tampa Bay. This season, Price will take charge of the league with his arm, and with the stroke of his pen.
Both the New York Yankees, who are currently 39-37, 3.5 games back, and the front running Toronto Blue Jays, who are 44-35, and really who may be peaking early, have scouts all over the big left-hander.
Marc Topkin with the Tampa Bay Times, pointed out that both of the AL East competitors have scouts at his starts, and are sniffing around the pitcher, as all the team's management personnel considers options.
The Rays own the worst record in the majors at 31-48, and they figure to be interested in selling off parts. Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner is earning $14 million this season and is arbitration-eligible next season.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the small-market Rays are ready to deal the 28-year-old soon, and to try and pull in pieces to rebuild around.
With the Red Sox at 35-43, the Rays are probably the only team in the division already done for, so dealing him now makes sense.
But would they strengthen any of the division rivals by trading their ace within the East?
Price is 5-7 on the season with a 3.81 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. His command had been spectacular, having recorded 133 strikeouts to just 13 walks, but run support has been hard to come by in Tampa Bay.
There are all kinds of crazy scenarios out there, but there is little doubt the tried-and-true Price will have a positive effect on the win-loss column.
Price was the first overall pick in the 2007 draft, and has found success in the majors through up and down seasons.
Price could fill a huge need for the hobbled Yankees, who are trying to piece together a season and give Masahiro Tanaka, arguably the league's best starting pitcher, some help. To keep up, they need another starting pitcher, and Price is the most sure thing out there, by many estimates.
For the Blue Jay's it's really the same story, just fill in Mark Buehrle as the pitcher getting it done. To make it through the summer, both teams are probably going to need a shot in the rotation to keep up, and Price would be right for that job.