The Tampa Bay Rays are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now. After being 18 games below .500 at the start of July, the Rays have gone on a tear and put themselves in position to earn a Wild Card playoff spot in the American League.
That dream may have died on Thursday.
With just minutes to go before the MLB trade deadline came to pass, the Rays traded away David Price, their star ace, to the Detroit Tigers in a three-team deal that also involved the Seattle Mariners:
— MLB (@MLB) July 31, 2014
From the Tigers point of view, this trade just vaunted them to the top of the pack in the majors, matching a starting pitching rotation that rivals the powerful rotation of the league-best Oakland Athletics.
But from the Rays point of view, this was a head-scratching move. I could see if the Rays were completely out of the playoff hunt. But with Tampa Bay within striking distance of October, it made little sense to trade away their ace.
Yes, I know Tampa Bay is a small market, and their payroll does not allow for stars to stay in the market long-term. But when you have the chance to make history, you do it with the horses who got you there. Tampa Bay still has chance, but their chances dwindled with their ill-conceived trade of Price.
This is a move the Rays are going to live to regret.