When a great player hits the market, team after team is going to show interest in dealing for him. There is a major difference, though, between showing interest and actually putting together a package good enough for that player’s team to actually consider making the trade. Thus far, the offers the Rays were hoping for have not been coming. Last offseason, the matchmaking process was not so difficult. The Tampa Bay Rays sought to deal James Shields while the Kansas City Royals were prepared to trade Wil Myers for a topflight starter, and with those two cards out on the table, it was not too long before a deal came together. Right now, however, the Rays are listening to offers for David Price, an even better pitcher than Shields, and there is no Myers on the trade block, no obvious candidate to headline in trade. The bottom line with all of these blockbuster trades: there always has to be a little desperation on somebody’s part.

The market has dictated what a player the caliber of David Price is worth. You are dealing one of the most highly-touted prospects in baseball, another well-regarded minor leaguer, and some combination of higher-risk prospects or major league depth to finish off the package. The exact terms of the deal can always be changed–the Rays would be fine accepting a talented young major leaguer instead of a top prospect–but the basic idea is the same and the cost is awfully steep. You deal all these players, and you know that with all of them there is the chance that they never work out. Even the most talented prospects so often fall apart. But while the risk is certainly present for the team dealing their star, for the acquiring team, the risk is exponentially higher. The team that reels in David Price will have him for two years unless they sign him to an extension. What if he gets hurt, as he did in 2013? Price pitched so well after he came back from his triceps injury, but having the possibility of injury creep into other teams’ minds can only be a bad thing.