With less than six weeks before pitchers and catchers begin pitching and catching in Port Charlotte, the question surrounding the Tampa Bay Rays' offseason remains: What about David Price?

All signs point to Price being traded this winter.

Owner Stuart Sternberg said in late September the 2014 payroll would be reduced after the Rays finished last in attendance in 2013.

Price is projected to make $13.1 million in 2014.

Price has two years before he reaches free agency, the same point when the Rays traded Matt Garza and James Shields.

The Rays will never get a better return for Price than they will if they trade him now.

Yet the front office has maintained it can make it work in 2014 with Price, and on Friday executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the 2014 payroll projects to be a record high. One assumes it can only top the $72.8 million payroll of 2010 if it includes Price.

When explaining why the payroll could be so high, Friedman said, “... we feel like we have a really good chance to be great next year. That's why we're doing what we're doing.”

The Rays' chances of being great in 2014 would be greatly enhanced with Price at the top of the rotation.