The industry-wide assumption is that if the Tampa Bay Rays fall out of contention, the pitcher they will trade is right-hander James Shields.

Not necessarily.

The Rays, deep in starting pitching, are open to moving any of their right-handed starters, major league sources say.

A trade of Shields or Jeremy Hellickson likely would signal that the team is conceding the season. A trade of Wade Davis, Alex Cobb or Chris Archer, however, would not.

For now, the Rays are in limbo, trying to ascertain when third baseman Evan Longoria will return from his left hamstring injury.

If the answer is sooner rather than later, the Rays probably will not sell — right fielder Matt Joyce is expected back from his strained left oblique shortly, and the team is only one game out in the wild-card race.