Why a David Price trade looks inevitable

Updated: December 1, 2012, 6:05 PM ET
By Buster Olney

David Price is in the discussion for the best pitcher on the planet, at the very least. I think that if you were to poll players and managers and coaches, Justin Verlander would be the No. 1 pick, but Price probably would fall somewhere in the No. 2 to 4 range, mixed in with Clayton Kershaw and Felix Hernandez.

Verlander is not available in a trade, and the Dodgers aren't going to deal Kershaw, and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik jokes that he should put a message on his answering machine informing interested parties that he isn't trading Hernandez.

But Price is available right now, for the right offer, and some rival executives are convinced he's going to be traded by the Rays sometime in the next 13 months because the salary math is just about impossible for Tampa Bay. The Rays know it, and just about everybody else knows it, too.

If the industrywide forecasts are right and Price is dealt, it will be one of the most significant deals in Major League Baseball history. Not often do you see healthy 27-year-old left-handed Cy Young Award-winning pitchers get traded.