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.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.