Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays still consider themselves contenders

Two teams above most others could hold the keys to the July 31st trade deadline: the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League and the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League.

Trade rumors have swirled around the Rays for sometime now, with a trade involving ace David Price all but inevitable and a deal involing utility man Ben Zobrist pretty likely as well. The Rays have won seven of their last 10 games, however, and with the relative weakness of the rest of the American League East, they are still envisioning a playoff run.

Seriously.

That sentiment was expressed by Price on Monday when he said that he plans on staying in Tampa Bay for the rest of the season if they contend. On Tuesday owner Stuart Sternberg echoed that line of thinking, saying that the Rays might hold off their plans to be sellers if they can envision a run at a playoff spot.

Here’s how bad things got for the Rays. With this recent winning stretch they are still just 36-49 on the season with a -36 run differential overall. Those numbers do not exactly scream playoff contender, but the Rays do still have a roster with talent to win some games and the best manager going in Joe Maddon.

Will that be enough? There’s still a long way to go, and it seems a risky game with just one month to go until the non-waiver deadline. But as of now, the Rays maintain that they still aren’t decided on being sellers, at least not yet.

Tags: Tampa Bay Rays

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