The Seattle Mariners have had trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays about the services of former Cy Young award winning pitcher, David Price and Ben Zobrist, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and it could hinge on the availability of Taijuan Walker.
Heyman writes the talks are very fluid and in the early stages with the Rays not completely sold on the idea of trading their ace with the playoff picture still unsettled in the American League East, but if the team moves forward and puts him on the block, an arm like Walker would appear to be the sticking point in a deal getting done.
Walker has battled shoulder issues this season which kept him from the big league rotation for the bulk of the season and is currently in Triple-A Tacoma where scouts are expected to be in attendance to see his start on Friday.
Other prospects who could be involved in this potential deal that could be simply for only Price or also include the Rays former All-Star infielder/outfielder could include D.J. Peterson, pitchers James Paxton, Edwin Diaz, Luis Gohara and Victor Sanchez, shortstop Chris Taylor, outfielder/third baseman Pat Kivleham and catcher Tyler Marlette, according to Heyman.
The Mariners are right in the thick of a wildcard race in the competitive American League West with the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim among the best teams in the AL. Currently, the Angels and Mariners are tied at the top of the wildcard standings, holding a 2.5 game lead over the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays.
Tampa Bay is eight games out of a wildcard spot and 9.5 games out of first place in the AL East, so if they struggle the first week out of the All-Star break, their decision to trade for Price could have been made and we could see him in the Pacific Northwest if the Mariners include the talented Walker in trade negotiations.