MINNEAPOLIS -- Tampa Bay ace David Price arrived at the All-Star Game expecting to be peppered with questions about his future and his chances of still being with the Rays when baseball's non-waiver trade deadline passes July 31.
He was not disappointed.
Price, making his fourth All-Star appearance in six big-league seasons, told reporters during Monday's media availability that he has a comfort level in Tampa Bay and would prefer to remain with the Rays' organization.
But he said he has come to grips with the team's financial limitations since negotiations toward a long-term contract stalled during the 2012-13 offseason and he knows a trade is more a question of when than if.
"Coming up in our organization, I've seen it happen before with guys like (James) Shields and (Matt) Garza and Delmon (Young) and (Jason) Bartlett,'' Price said. "We've had quite a few guys at this point in the season go through the trade rumors.
"Since 2012, (the Rays and I) both understood that for Tampa to continue the kind of success we've had over the past five or six years, this is the way they operate. I would love to stay there and for us to continue to be successful. But I don't know if that's a possibility.''
Price will be eligible for free agency in November 2015, and the Rays can't afford another nine-figure contract with third baseman Evan Longoria in the early stages of a deal that could be worth $144.6 million through 2023. As a 28-year-old power lefty with an 80-46 career record and a Cy Young Award on his resume, Price has abundant appeal to contending teams looking for a difference-maker down the stretch this season and for 2015.
The Dodgers are one potential suitor for Price because of their financial resources and deep supply of minor-league prospects. But the Angels, Giants, Cardinals, Mariners, Braves, Yankees and Blue Jays are other clubs that have been mentioned in speculation.
The Rays, who bottomed out at 24-42 on June 10, have won 20 of their last 31 to pull within eight games of a wild card berth. But ESPN.com's playoff tracker still gives them only a 3.9 percent chance of making the postseason this year.
Price said he tries to steer clear of trade rumors, but he's inevitably reminded of his status when he checks in on Twitter and other social media.
"I kind of know what's come out when I wake up in the morning and a different fan base will say, 'You'll look good in red' or whatever color that team wears,'' Price said. "I've had a lot of Rays fans reaching out to me, too, saying how much they appreciate me and they want me to stay. Those are the fans I've been pitching for the last six or seven years. It's special.''
Price is one of several players in Minneapolis whose future is hazy because of pending free agency, or constant losing, or a team's desire to shed salary and go in a different direction with younger, more affordable talent.
Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley, Boston pitcher Jon Lester, San Diego closer Huston Street and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki also spent the All-Star media availability answering questions about where they could land over the coming weeks.