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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Ben Zobrist will draw more trade interest than David Price

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All eyes are on the Tampa Bay Rays as the league tries to make sense of this summer’s trade market. Their surprising plummet to the bottom of the AL East has positioned them as one of the few known sellers in a season that is otherwise congested with teams that still hold hope for a playoff spot.

The Rays have two primary players to have offer as trade centerpieces: second baseman Ben Zobrist and left-handed pitcher David Price. At first glance, one assumes that Price will be the more sought after player. Ace pitchers are hard to come by, after all, and the Rays have additional leverage because Price is under control through next season.

There is still significant risk for any trading partner, however, because of the potential money it will cost to keep Price beyond 2015. That might limit his market, making Zobrist the more reasonable target. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports as much on Thursday:

Rosenthal makes a good point that Zobrist might be a better fit in the National League, something that makes sense given the aforementioned versatility he offers:

Zobrist is a more conventional option as a “rental” at the trade deadline, as he can potentially be a free agent at season’s end (with a team option for 2015). Therefore his name will be tied to known contenders like the Brewers and Dodgers here and like the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics as in previous reports.

His ability to get on base and play multiple positions should make him an attractive option for any team in the playoffs, making it a logical decision for the Rays to trade him now and get some value for him.

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Tags: Ben Zobrist Los Angeles Dodgers Milwaukee Brewers St. Louis Cardinals Tampa Bay Rays

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