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The Rays Tank: The next 24 hours

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WHAT WILL HAPPEN?!

There will be dancing.
There will be dancing.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

"Probably he won't be traded tomorrow, but he might. David Price is the best pitcher this organization has ever had. He's already won one Cy Young award, and if not for the current ridiculous of Felix Hernandez, he would be on the inside track for another. You'd like to see a pitcher like that go out triumphant, when he goes, the way James Shields did (complete game, one run, two hits, fifteen strikeouts, albeit in a loss). Maybe this was only his last start for the Rays in July, as Price tweeted, but if it was his last ever, well, that's a shame." - Ian, in last night's postgame recap

David Price doesn't think he'll be traded, though he messed with fans - because, why not:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This is my last start for the Rays....IN JULY!!! been up and been ready!!!</p>&mdash; David Price (@DAVIDprice14) <a href="https://twitter.com/DAVIDprice14/statuses/494447248302800896">July 30, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

When asked postgame whether he'd still be with the Rays come Friday morning:

"Absolutely," he said.

Joe Maddon doesn't think Price will be traded:

"It takes two to dance, boys," Maddon said. "It takes a partner, and it takes a partner with some gumption and (who) wants to do something. If you can't find that partner, it isn't going to happen. So I don't know if there's a whole lot of folks out there like that these days."

Heck, James Loney is in agreeance:

"He's not getting traded," ... "So I don't know why everybody's talking about it; not right now."

Ken Rosenthal shared Tuesday night that a win on Wednesday (which didn't occur), would secure DP in TB:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Exec on possibility of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rays?src=hash">#Rays</a> trading Price: "A win tomorrow makes it so hard . . . 12 of 13." Price scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. ET.</p>&mdash; Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) <a href="https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/statuses/494333539555373057">July 30, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

As of last night, it was a mixed bag on whether the Rays going to keep their best pitcher at the top of their rotation:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Will <a href="https://twitter.com/DAVIDprice14">@DAVIDprice14</a> be with <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball">@RaysBaseball</a> after 4 pm on Thursday ?</p>&mdash; Dick Vitale (@DickieV) <a href="https://twitter.com/DickieV/statuses/494684571800465408">July 31, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>GM on top <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dodgers?src=hash">#Dodgers</a> prospects MT <a href="https://twitter.com/BillShaikin">@BillShaikin</a>: Colletti: &quot;We&#39;re not in the market to trade any of the three, period.&quot;</p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/statuses/494680429631647745">July 31, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Also from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Dodgers?src=hash">#Dodgers</a> GM: MT <a href="https://twitter.com/BillShaikin">@BillShaikin</a>: Colletti : &quot;There&#39;s been no player discussed that warrants 2 of the 3.&quot;</p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/statuses/494680972345221120">July 31, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>&quot;I&#39;m not convinced David Price is staying in Tampa Bay nor I am convinced Zobrist will stay there either.&quot;- <a href="https://twitter.com/jonmorosi">@jonmorosi</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WhipAround?src=hash">#WhipAround</a></p>&mdash; FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBONFOX/statuses/494669052120268800">July 31, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>As <a href="https://twitter.com/jaysonst">@jaysonst</a> reports, <a href="https://twitter.com/DAVIDprice14">@DAVIDprice14</a> is likely to stay put with <a href="https://twitter.com/RaysBaseball">@RaysBaseball</a>. <a href="http://t.co/v4XCI0QzAR">http://t.co/v4XCI0QzAR</a> <a href="http://t.co/yM61fw35Mt">pic.twitter.com/yM61fw35Mt</a></p>&mdash; Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) <a href="https://twitter.com/BBTN/statuses/494556393861812224">July 30, 2014</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Though the Sweet Spot likes how we're winning, enough for David Shoenfield to boldly state the following:

The perpetual churn is necessary to keep winning and Joe Maddon and the front office have the pride to stay competitive every year, but does the turnover give the Rays the best chance at winning? Not in 2014 and not in 2015. Plus, there's no guarantee a Price trade will work out or that the Rays won't fall apart in three years regardless of what happens to Price. 

It reminds me of when the Twins traded Johan Santana when he had one year left before free agency. That trade ended up not helping the Twins, and in 2008, minus Santana, they lost the AL Central to the White Sox in a tiebreaker game. If they had kept Santana, they probably would've won the division and maybe would have ridden Santana to a World Series title. 

The Rays can do that with Price and the other young pitchers behind him in the rotation. Go for it. Try to win now. Imagine that.

Only time shall tell...

And with 15 hours to go, let the stomach churning, mystery teams and #hugwatch commence.

Links:

- Jesse Spector shone a pleasant light on our favorite broadcast duo, praising the balance in the booth between Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson. Oh, and ICYMI, take the quiz to find out which Tampa Bay Rays broadcaster YOU are!

- Why do we have a July 31st trade deadline? Dave Cameron posed the question, and looked at the history there.

- The 'problem' with sabermetrics and old-schoolers, from Beyond the Box Score.

- Steven Oldman penned a nice ode to the now-retired Eric Chavez's under-appreciated career.

- Pretty awesome scouting story of an art school student with a killer fastball, whose most recently been driving 18-wheelers and playing in a Sunday night men's league...and just got signed by the Twins.

- Next time you're headed to a new ballpark, For the Win has compiled the seven best ballparks for eating. The Trop didn't make the list.