Advantage, Texas Rangers.

David Price is the biggest name on the trade market -- headed to arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays for the third time and two years away from free agency. He's priced himself out of his franchise's economic model -- his projected salary of $13 million would take up more than 20 percent of the 2014 payroll -- and has triggered a complicated round of bidding for his services.

Tampa Bay executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has built a consistent contender despite significant financial limitations and finds himself sorting through how to construct a playoff team without Price. He's done a lot of things in his career, but never that particular trick.

At 22, Price pitched out of the bullpen for Joe Maddon's 2008 team that went to the World Series. He's been the ace on teams that qualified for the playoffs in three of the past four years, and may never have distinguished himself more than he did in the most recent of his 147 regular-season starts.

The 2013 Rays refused to fade away in September, as they seemed destined to, and found themselves tied with the Rangers for the American League's second Wild Card spot after 162 games. Price used his experience, as much as his left arm, to win Game 163.

He had seen the Rangers force the action in previous playoff games -- Game 5 of the 2010 Division Series, in particular -- and this time found a huge counterattack. His pickoffs of Elvis Andrus in the first inning and Ian Kinsler in the third were pivotal moments in a 5-2 win for Maddon's Rays, who would finally be put away by the Red Sox in the Division Series.

Including the Rangers' ALDS wins in 2010 and '11, the one-game tiebreaker for the Wild Card marked the third time in four seasons that one of those two teams eliminated the other. Should the rivalry be renewed in 2014, it's more likely that Price will be pitching for the Rangers than the Rays.

Had Friedman figured out a way to view Price as a long-term asset -- not the same kind of commodity as Matt Garza and James Shields were when they got to this point, two years away from free agency -- we'd know it by now. Price's prediction of a trade continues to ring throughout baseball, and the Rangers appear slight favorites over the Dodgers to land his services.