This is a move that cannot be viewed in a vacuum. If the Nationals are making a trade for Price or Shields it is because they have either retained the services of Adam LaRoche or have signed an outfielder to replace his bat in the line-up. This move may also facilitate a follow-up move. It can be assured that in any trade discussions Danny Espinosa's name will come up and in order to secure a player like Price he will need to be moved. The 2013 free agent second base class is a scary place with the best names being Kelly Johnson and Marco Scutaro. Both might be better back-ups to Steve Lombardozzi than they would be starters.
It is important to consider what a trade for either Shields or Price would look like since either very likely costs at least one MLB player. The Rays need hitting. They scored the fourth fewest runs in the AL and lack depth at short, catcher, first, and corner outfield. What the Rays do have is pitching, and what they don't have is money. Despite winning 90 games and contending for the entire season the Rays finished at the bottom of the AL in attendance. With Price going through the arbitration process after a Cy Young worthy season and Shield's team options starting to get expensive the Rays are entering a crisis point where it might be too expensive to hang onto both.