NEW YORK – Whatever chances the Tampa Bay Rays have of climbing back into the playoff chase will be greatly aided by having David Price pitch every fifth game. With the Rays on their first hot streak of the season, the chances of Price being traded this summer could be delayed or scrapped.
“Obviously, we have some decision to make at some point in time, potentially – make decisions not to do something, make decisions to do something,” Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said before Tuesday's 2-1 victory over New York at Yankee Stadium.
The Rays have won 13 of their past 20 games. Sternberg said this is the rebound he expected from the poor start of the season, though he added he expected the bounce back to have happened sooner.
“If we played better the last month we wouldn't be talking about, 'Are we in it?' We would be in it,” Sternberg said.
Could this revival push that decision to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline?
“A lot of will be dependent upon how the team is playing, what's happening around us, what other teams are looking to do to improve or even something we could do to improve,” Sternberg said. “You can go the other way in a couple of weeks and say, 'What are we missing?' ”
Sternberg said he's always waited as long as he could to make a big decision in an effort to give himself a clearer picture of what is going on. He said while the Rays are finally playing winning baseball, he might want to wait to see if this run will last and what impact it will have on the playoff picture.
“We're playing better. We're not playing great, we're playing good. Playing the way we are is not going to get this done,” Sternberg said. “It's going to take a Herculean effort beyond what we've been playing. But as the Red Sox did back in '11, they cooperated. Toronto recently has been cooperating. But there are other teams in the division as well.”