Rays ace David Price, who once again has been the subject of trade rumors, has made it clear that he expects to stay if Tampa Bay can climb back into playoff contention.

"We're playing well right now, so I expect to be here," Price told reporters on Monday.

"If we continue to play good baseball the way we have and continue to win, I feel like we have a shot, so I think that would lessen my chances of getting traded."

The trade deadline is July 31. The Rays are 9½ games behind the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East, and 10 games out of a wild-card spot.

Price Gouging

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price can become only the fourth pitcher in major league history to strike out 10 or more batters in six consecutive games. The others:
Pitcher Tm. Yr(s) Streak
Pedro Martinez Bos 1999 8
Randy Johnson Ari 2001 7
Pedro Martinez Bos 1999 7
Nolan Ryan Cal 1977 7
Randy Johnson Ari 2002 6
Randy Johnson Ari 2000 6
Randy Johnson Ari 1999 6
Randy Johnson Sea 1998 6
Pedro Martinez Mon 1997 6
Nolan Ryan Cal 72-73 6

Price, who last week said he was frustrated by trade rumors, can become only the fourth player in major-league history to strike out 10 or more batters in six straight starts when he faces the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Price leads the American League with 144 strikeouts, including 54 -- with just five walks -- in his past five starts spanning 39 2/3 innings. His velocity is also climbing: In his first six starts, his average fastball velocity didn't reach 93 mph, but in six of his past nine starts, his average velocity has been 93.4 mph or higher.

"If I do get traded, that mound is still 60 feet, 6 inches away from home plate. The bases are still 90 feet (apart). Still nine players on the field. The game doesn't change," Price said. "It's just the uniform I'm wearing might change, and then my teammates. That is a very big deal. But I feel like it's something I can handle."