david price getty

Rays are “talking and willing” to trade ace lefty David Price; Cardinals and Dodgers interested

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Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the story …

Rays GM Andrew Friedman is going to make the most interesting call of the next two days: Whether or not to trade David Price.

Colleagues suggest Friedman has the guts to deal Price when the team has rallied from nowhere to the cusp of the AL pennant race. A few even suggest that he may prefer to pull the trigger.

“We are talking and willing,” a Rays-connected source told Heyman for his column. “[We’ll] see if any teams have the desire.”

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote Tuesday that the Cardinals could present a package of outfielder Oscar Taveras, starting pitcher Shelby Miller, and their competitive-balance pick (right after the first round) in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft. And Heyman heard from rival executives that the offer has “some merit.”

The Dodgers are also thought to be heavily-interested in Price and have the prospects to pull off a deal.

Price, who is under contractual control through 2015, boasts a 3.08 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 183/21 K/BB ratio through 163 2/3 innings this season. The 28-year-old is scheduled to start for Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.

Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.

For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.