BY: John Mamola /

Major League Baseball free agency is officially under way and what could be another interesting winter for the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays have already picked up the options of Yunel Escobar, Ben Zobrist and David Dejesus with reportedly interest in signing DeJesus to a multi year deal in the future.  However questions this off season will circle around the future of David Price who is eligible for arbitration heading into next season.  Price’s salary is expected to jump from 10 million to near 13-15 million dollars leading to rampant speculation that the 2012 Cy Young Award winner will be dealt this winter. senior columnist Phil Rogers joined WDAE’s ‘The Ron and Ian Show’ Wednesday morning and said he fully expects Price to be traded this winter.  Some of the teams rumored to be the new landing spot include both teams in Los Angeles and St. Louis, but Rogers believes a team from the Midwest could make a big play for Price.

“I know the Chicago Cubs covet Price” said Rogers.  “They have good young prospects in their system, and they have guys that anyone would want.”

Rogers believes the Cubs have good young hitting type prospects who could assist a Rays offense who finished fourth in runs scored in the AL East.  Also Rogers notes the Cubs addition of Theo Epstein from the Boston Red Sox, who is very familiar with Price’s tenure in Tampa Bay. 

“Any team that trades for David Price isn’t going to be doing it for two years, they’re going to be doing it and plan to sign him  to a long term contract looking at having him six or seven years.  On that basis he could make sense for any team in baseball, a team like the Cubs.”

Rogers says he believes that Tampa Bay Rays General Manager Andrew Friedman will spend the winter fielding offers.  Rogers also stated it’ll be tough for the Rays to get back in return what they would want for a pitcher the caliber of David Price.