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.





Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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tz
8 years ago

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.

tz
8 years ago
Reply to  Dave Cameron

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.

Sawxin6
8 years ago
Reply to  tz

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!

tz
8 years ago
Reply to  tz

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)

hittfamily
8 years ago
Reply to  tz

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.

Tim A
8 years ago
Reply to  Dave Cameron

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

John C
8 years ago
Reply to  tz

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.