Chances Rays Trade A Top Starter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The chances that the Rays will trade a top starting pither such as James Shields, David Price or Jeremy Hellickson have increased along with the value of big-time starters, sources familiar with the Rays’ thinking said.

With word around here that Zack Greinke, the best free-agent starter available, is going to make a major score, even greater than originally suspected — one competing agent saying, “I think he might get sever years maybe $185 million” — Rays people understand that the trade value for their trio of top starters also is rising.

Rays owner Stu Sternberg is a rare owner to attend the winter meetings here. Tampa Bay did well to lock up star third baseman Evan Longoria to a six-year, $100 million extension, but the revenue-challenged team has its limits. It also understands it is a rare team with a stash of starters, including also young left-hander Matt Moore and righties Jeff Niemann, Alex Cobb and Wade Davis.

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