FG on Fox: Why David Price Might Get Traded Twice

While the trade deadline in recent years has proven anticlimactic and at times outright boring, this year is going to be different. This year, the best pitcher moved at the deadline won’t be Jake Peavy or Matt Garza. With no offense intended to either, neither one is a real frontline arm like the crown jewel of this summer’s trade season: Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price.

With the Rays all but officially out of playoff contention — they currently hold just a 1.7% chance of reaching the postseason — it’s essentially a guarantee that Price will be moved before the trade deadline. And Price is going to be the best pitcher traded mid-season in years.

Sure, Zack Greinke was dealt from Milwaukee to Anaheim in 2012, but Greinke wasn’t quite at the level that Price has established over the last few years. Not only has he been one of the game’s best pitchers, but Price has done it in the AL East, and while the division might not be what it once was, teams won’t have to worry about whether Price can handle pitching against the best hitters in the American League. Left-handed #1 starters don’t hit the market very often, and Price even comes with an extra bonus; he’s not an impending free agent.

Often, players of this caliber are only traded with a few months to go before they reach free agency. Greinke was shipped from Milwaueke to Anaheim with just a few months left on his contract, for instance, and the mid-summer market is often flooded with rentals who will only be around for half a season. Price, however, won’t be a free agent until after the 2015 season, and so any team acquiring his rights won’t just get him for this playoff race, but for next year as well. And that extra year of team control is going to allow the Rays to ask for the moon.

If your favorite team wants to acquire David Price this summer, I hope you’re not too attached to any or all of their best young players, because the Rays are going to demand a king’s ransom in exchange for a year-and-a-half of Price’s services. But there’s a catch, and it’s one of the reasons why the Rays didn’t accept of the offers they received for Price over the off-season. While any team that acquires him will own his rights for 2015, the arbitration process has ensured that a large percentage of teams wouldn’t be able to afford him next year anyway.

Read the rest on FoxSports.com.




Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


48 Responses to “FG on Fox: Why David Price Might Get Traded Twice”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. tz says:

    The Rays probably know they won’t get comparable value for Price, and they’ll probably hold onto him as a result.

    Especially based on how the last two AL East cellar-dwellers did next season. This team’s not fundamentally way worse than the one that was expected to contend this year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave Cameron says:

      They can’t afford him for 2015, and he’ll get more value in return from a buyer now than in the off-season. I’ll be stunned if he’s not traded.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tz says:

        I see your point. It’s going to be tricky for the Rays to work up some competition among potential suitors for Price, but they absolutely must play this right. Otherwise they’ll be in a situation similar to the Minnesota Timberwolves have with Kevin Love, and almost know that they’ll get way less than $1.00 per dollar of value.

        I don’t envy Tampa Bay in this spot.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Sawxin6 says:

          Really?

          I envy them big time! Who’s not a buyer right now with a 2nd wildcard? The Rays, Cubs, Astros, and Padres. There is going to be a lot of desperate GM’s calling Andrew Friedman. There are 2 calls I wouldn’t have to make in life. 1, is calling 911. The 2nd is calling the Rays’ front office and telling them I need their best pitcher to keep my job. They will get someone’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best prospects. It’s a very enviable situation!

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • tz says:

          IFF the team that acquires Price is ok with paying the money he’s owed now and next year after arbitration. As Dave points out, that limits the number of teams.

          I could see the Tigers and Royals getting into a battle for Price and not worrying about the money right now. But Billy “Three-Way” Beane might be the only GM willing to maneuver a rental deal for Price with the plan of flipping him in the off-season.

          (And the only way the Rays get the #1,2, and 3 prospects is if its from a team with a weaker set of prospects, like the Angels or maybe the Tigers)

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • hittfamily says:

          The Dodgers gave up De La Rosa and Webster for Josh Beckett, Crawford, Gonzo, and Punto. If the Dodgers will give up their 2 top prospects for that sorry bunch, they are capable of anything.

          I actually would be surprised if Price and Jennings weren’t discussed for Pederson, Seager, Urias, and a few low level prospects. Pederson’s blocked, Urias is a few years away, and Seagermay not be necessary if HanRam is resigned, and with the growth Dee Gordon has shown this year. A few other players may have to be thrown in, like a Sean Rodriguez, or maybe even Escobar, but it seems like a good match between the 2 teams.

          They’ll give Price the extension he wants, and they finally get a CFer. The Rays have too many OF as it is with Myers, Jennings, Joyce, Dejesus, Kiermaier, Guyer, and Mikie Mahtook, a former 1st rounder excelling at AAA.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tim A says:

        But just think what Ariz will give you for him in the offseason……..

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • John C says:

      I bet he goes to Oakland. The A’s will rent him for 2014, then Beane will flip him for more prospects after the season. He wants to bring a championship to Oakland while the team can still afford the current core of the roster, and having David Price for October will help a lot.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. AK7007 says:

    To use your example, I’m not totally buying that a team like the A’s would avoid a 1yr/20 deal for Price. They seem to have so totally embraced the “no such thing as a bad 1yr deal” philosophy, that I could see them try to swing it. Last year, they had a payroll of 60ish million, and jumped that to 80ish this year. They have done this once before, and then dropped down to 60ish again the next year (2007 high, rebuilt before the 2008 season). So I’m not so sure they could do it again and stay at 80ish million. But if they do, Price could fit in considering the impending free agency departure of Johnson + various relievers and infielders after the 2014 season.

    Cots contract info: https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tfsGfyq6KIc3zP01PEsy-Kw&output=html

    I guess the question is, are we discounting the value of a one-year deal too highly, even if that one year is at 20 million?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hittfamily says:

      I agree, if Price was a free agent, they’d love to give him a 1 /20 mil deal. However, I doubt Beane gives up his 3 best prospects to pay that contract.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave Cameron says:

      Signing a guy for 1/10 and trading the farm to get a guy for 1/20 are not the same thing. The problem isn’t the salary; it’s the combined cost of the prospects and the salary.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • AK7007 says:

        I get that. How much greater is the value of the prospects that will given up for Price in comparison to the surplus value he will provide this year + next? Is there any way for it to make sense for a team to trade for him, then let him walk after 2015? Or does the team he gets traded to have to sign him long term/move him again in order for this to work value-wise?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • tz says:

          The more I think about it, the more I think the Tigers would consider doing this. They were comfortable renting Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante without getting either locked down long-term beforehand.

          The key here is that a team that’s “all-in” right now would put a decent value on 1 1/2 years of Price’s surplus value + the 2016 FA compensation pick. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a Tigers/Royals battle here?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • John C says:

        He might trade the farm for have him for 2014, and then take someone else’s farm to flip him before 2015, though. Basically what he did when he acquired Matt Holliday and then flipped him, although that all happened in one season.

        Beane is incredibly confident in his ability to scout prospects, either from the draft or from other teams. I don’t think he’d have any compunction about dealing a few of his best for a few months of Price, in the belief that he could get prospects just as good in return for him after the season.

        If he had more money to work with, I’m not sure he’d ever trade any stars. He’d operate like the Red Sox and just take the compensatory draft picks, thinking he can out-draft everyone.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Oh really, Mister? says:

        You let me know when there’s a guy like Price available on a 1/10 deal. Or a 1/20.

        Yeah, those deals are worth the prospect price to make happen.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Tim A says:

    I could see the A’s being willing to talk if the deal didn’t include Russel. I could see Oak giving a 5-1 or 6-1 deal, of mid lv prospects for him, then unloading him in the offseason to re-up since they have several starters returning. I could see Beane making this type of play, and breaking even on players, since he could have many more suiters in the winter, and might not have a ton of competition right now. The main problem with this is Addi is untouchable with Lowrie FA, and I just don’t know if they have what the Rays want to make it happen.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. hittfamily says:

    “a large percentage of teams wouldn’t be able to afford him next year anyway.”

    At least they will claim they can’t. There is no reason why the Rays should not be #30 in team payroll. They are If the Rays can afford an $82 million payroll, then everybody else should at least be at 95, with no exceptions. And yet 14 teams, many expecting to compete, are below 95 mil. The Rays should have a bidding war between the Marlins, Pirates, Mariners and Royals, but instead it will likely be between the 2 LA teams.

    Mets fans: Your payroll is 1 league minimum salary from being behind the Rays. I am not in favor of a salary cap. Rather, I think there should be a salary threshold.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Sawxin6 says:

    David Price can get you to the playoffs. But you better slot him at #3 when you get there.

    Come playoff time, he turns into Wade Davis: Great in the pen, awful starter.
    2010: 12.2 IP, 17 hits, 1.34 WHIP, 4.97 ERA
    2011: 6.2 IP, 7 hits, 1.20 WHIP, 4.05 ERA
    2013: 7 IP, 9 hits, 1.57 WHIP, 9.00 ERA

    Anyone remember the magical game 162 in 2011? Dan Johnson’s 2 out 9th inning game tying homerun? Longo’s walkoff in the 12th? The greatest day in MLB regular season history? None of that would have been possible without David Price, coming up big in crunch time once again: 4 innings, 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 runs.

    Small sample size or not, some guys have it in big moments, and some guys don’t.

    -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Babyspittle says:

      clutch factor is my favorite stat too

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Sawxin6 says:

        I don’t like the argument either, but you do it enough over multiple seasons, and it becomes true, small sample size be damned. His last 3 huge starts: Shellacked by the Yanks in game 162 for 6 runs in 4 innings. Then Cleveland in game 163, he did great, allowing 2 runs in a complete game. The his start in Boston: 7 innings, 7 runs. He’s allowed 6 runs or more in 2 of his last 3 big game starts.

        We put him in the same league as Kershaw, Felix, and Verlander (prior to 2014). How often do they give up 6 runs? I’m sure they have (I’m not going to look it up), but I doubt they did it 2 out of 3 times when the world was watching.

        Dan Johnson has 6 career walkoff homeruns in his MLB career. There is a reason the smartest manager in baseball pinch hit him (with a .108 batting average) with 2 outs in the ninth. “Clutchiness” may not be quantifiable, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Will says:

          Sawxin6: Small Sample Size be damned

          Anyone with intro level knowledge of Statistics: No

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Sawxin6 says:

          I shouldn’t have said that. Obviously, the larger the sample, the more accurate the reading. We can’t get a large sample for starting pitchers in the post season though, as they will only make a maximum of 6 starts in any post season, and that’s assuming 2 starts per series and his team makes the world series. Most good players only make the post season a few times in their career. Even fewer make it all the way to 6 starts in any post season.

          What I should have said is “in 6 seasons in the majors, David Price never allowed 6 runs or more in 2 out of 3 starts. However, the exception is when the games counted more than his regular season starts”. Is 6 years enough?

          In college, I could chug a beer when no one was looking. I’d puke all over myself everytime in a chugging contest though. David Price pukes when in a chugging contest.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    The Tigers or Angels might try to acquire Price just to keep him out of the hands of the A’s. A Price-led A’s team would be hard to stop, and that is an understatement.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tim A says:

      Yeah Price, Gray, Kazmir, with Chavez Pom as long guys would be kinda scary.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hittfamily says:

      I’d put the A’s chances of getting Price below the Astro’s chances of getting Price. It’s not the money either, it’s that they’d have to decimate their farm system to get him.

      Billy Beane is too smart to give up his top future talent to add an extra 2 wins to this team’s win total.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tz says:

        But he might bid him up anyway just to force his rivals hands. Then he can snag Samardzija as an affordable rental.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • hittfamily says:

          The A’s best prospect is a, Addison Russel, is a middle infielder. The A’s biggest need now and in the future is middle infield. In order to get Price or Samardzja, you can’t start with your second best prospect. Especially the A’ssecond best prospect, who isn’t very good. McKinney is stinkin up the joint in A-ball, Alcantrera just had Tommy John surgery, and Ynoa is repeating A-ball after getting lit up for an ERA over 7 last year. A 22 year old repeating A-ball is never good. What’s even worse is that his ERA is still over 5. Even worse, is that he has now been converted to a reliever. Combine this with the fact that he’s already had TJ surgery, and he’s now a non-prospect.

          The Mariner’s wouldn’t include Walker, BA’s 11th rated prospect, so the Rays declined the deal in the offseason. Without Russel, the A’s have nothing to offer the Rays, and the A’s won’t be including Russel in the deal.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tim A says:

        The A’s move would be trade whatever non Addi package the Rays want now, and flip him in the offseason to re-coup the prospects since they will have more starters next year with griffen parker returning, and could maybe score a starter when they deal him again.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • John C says:

        Would he, though, if it meant adding two extra wins to the team’s October total? I can think of a LOT of times that Billy Beane really could have used two more wins in October…

        Plus, he could just flip him in December for someone else’s top prospects, and Beane is very confident in his ability to sniff out talent in trades.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. BigSteve says:

    The Cardinals seem like a likely destination to me. They have a huge glut of outfielders and a decent glut of young arms. They also have the financial flexibility to absorb that salary. Another front line starter would be one of the less complicated ways to improve their roster for the playoffs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • johnnytwotimes says:

      yes, this is one of the only teams that makes sense and can meet all criteria

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mark L says:

      Agreed – they could lose two of Grichuk, Bourjos, Jay, and Craig, and still have enough outfielders.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Sawxin6 says:

        John Jay? Allen Craig? Peter Bourjos?

        Why not throw in Shane Robinson if we are trading Price for a bunch of scrubs. Jay stinks (think that .370 BABIP is holding up all year?). Bourjos is always hurt, and carries a pretty light stick (plus Kiermaier probably equals his defense, if they want a defense only CF). Plus Kiermaier doesn’t strike out 30% of the time. Craig is a massive defensive liability and hasn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag through 300 PA this season (with a not so small contract).

        The Rays are loaded in the outfield. Who of the 5 gets bumped for Craig, Bourjos, or John Jay: Myers, Jennings, Dejesus (7 mil salary, currently a much better player than any), Loney (in the case of Craig), Kiermaier (defensive marvel, hitting very well)? This doesn’t even include Matt Joyce and Brandon Guyer.

        It starts with Tavaras and likely includes Shelby Miller, plus a few more low level prospects if David’s going to St Louis. Not a bunch of hand-me-downs. Price is a top 10 pitcher with 50 starts left, not Matt Garza with 15 left. I love rosterbating with the best of them, but at least be serious in what the Rays will expect in return.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Johnnytwotimes says:

          Taveras and Miller plus? Please, pass over whatever you’re smoking.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • BigSteve says:

          As with most things it would take something in between the two extremes suggested in this thread. Two of those outfielders listed would be a non-starter from the Rays perspective and the Cardinals would laugh the Rays out of the room if they asked for Taveras and Miller (unless the Cardinals question Miller’s long term viability). Taveras and non top 100 prospects, maybe Tyrell Jenkins, would get this done. Or two good non-Taveras players like Adams and Marco Gonzalez or Piscotty and Carlos Martinez. Offers like that would give a mix of upside and certainty, that the Rays would want, without the Cardinals completely mortgaging their future for the right to pay someone $20 Million.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Sawxin6 says:

          I don’t think he’s WORTH Tavares and Miller, but I’m just going by past trades, and what the Rays will expect. Even taking the Myers deal out (which I don’t think is entirely fair seeing as how Dayton got exactly what he wanted out of it, {they are in first place}). Garza netted Olt, a BA top 100 for half a season of Garza. Beltran got the Mets Wheeler, a BA top 100 prospect. The Jays gave up their #1 and #3 in D’Arnaud and Syndergaard to get 42 year old Dickey. 2 years of Greinke got the Royals the Brewers’ top 2 prospects in Alcides Escobar and Jake Odorizzi + others. The Brewers then sold a half a season of Greinke for Segura, the Angels’ top prospect.

          Now none of these players, with the exception of maybe Greinke is in Price’s league. None with the excpetion of Greinke the first time around came with more than 1 year of control. The bottom line is, your best prospect will be required to get him for half a season. The fact that he has another year at a discounted rate, makes him immensely valuable.

          If the tables were turned, and Wainwright was made available, making 13 mil this year and 16-17 mil next year, would you accept a trade of your choice of 2 of the following 3 : Sean Rodriguez, Matt Joyce, or James Loney? That’s essentially the Bourjos, Craig, Jay proposal.

          The Rays want an MLB ready arm, and I don’t see one in the Cards farm. It has to be Miller or Wacha, and I don’t think the Cards are parting with Wacha.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Swfcdan says:

      What I said below.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. MrKnowNothing says:

    Good farm system. Needs pitching. If the money could work, the Pirates fit nicely.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Tim says:

    I thought this was going to be a prediction of Price being traded to the Islanders.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Swfcdan says:

    Think a deal centered around Price for Oscar and x could happen? The Cards really don’t need Oscar right now.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Sawxin6 says:

      I think it will come down to whoever includes more for their best outfield prospect: the Dodgers and Pederson, or the Cards and Oscar. It’s going to take either of the 2 to get him, and likely their best pitching prospect as well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Johnnytwotimes says:

      You Rays homers are priceless (no pun intended)! Cards don’t need Taveras so why not just trade a consensus top 5 prospect in baseball? Hey, you guys want Wacha too? How ’bout the whole farm system? Cards don’t need those this year either.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. jdbolick says:

    There’s a potentially interesting angle here as well in terms of selling high on prospects you don’t love as much as the market does, although I suppose there is a natural inclination to love your prospects more than anyone else does. I was cooler than almost anyone on Archie Bradley and Taijuan Walker, two prospects bandied about in off-season Price discussions. In theory those teams could have used arguably overvalued prospects to acquire Price and then flipped him after this season for undervalued prospects from someone else.

    Aaron Sanchez is a prospect I labeled grotesquely overrated that could be in play for Toronto except that his star has probably dimmed to the point that he wouldn’t be enough as a centerpiece for Price.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>