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Trade Price? The Rays would rather move Shields or Hellickson

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Mets remain very willing to trade the National League Cy Young winner, with one club official suggesting Tuesday that there's still as much as a 50 percent chance that R.A. Dickey gets dealt.

As for the American League Cy Young winner, it appears that David Price is much more likely to stay put.

Teams that have talked to the Rays have come away thinking that they're much more open to moving James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson than they are to trading Price.

The Rays are always a little mysterious in their trade talks, and interested teams are far from certain that the Rays will trade any of their top pitchers. But with the ever-present need to fill positions of need and add impact bats, it's easy to think that eventually the Rays will make a move. Besides, with Shields making $10.5 million and the possibility that Price could make $10 million as a first-time arbitration-eligible, the perennially payroll-challenged Rays could be better served by reallocating some of those resources.

Price, who established himself as one of the very best pitchers in baseball and is still three seasons away from free agency, could bring a huge return. A team such as the Rangers, flush with money and with young talent, could theoretically trade the Rays three or more significant young players, and also have the money to lock Price up to a long-term contract (something the Rays have no chance of doing).

But the Rays, who understandably love Price, seem very reluctant to consider such a deal.

Instead, they could trade Shields, who is under control for just two more years. Shields could be of interest to the Rangers if they don't sign Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton, and is also a possible target for the Royals and other teams.

The Brewers are among the teams that could be interested in Hellickson.

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