There has been a ton of speculation as to where David Price is going to be pitching during the 2014 season. The Tampa Bay Rays’ ace has been advertised on the trading block from the moment the season ended, but as we draw closer to Spring Training, we are seeing some teams come out of the woodwork to acquire the star pitcher.
Price is a crucial part of the Rays’ starting rotation, and the team is not willing to deal him unless given the right offer. There have been several teams that have been linked to talks with the Rays over a potential Price deal, and as of now we have a couple frontrunners.
The new-look Seattle Mariners appear to be the most aggressive team in search of Price’s services, and after offering a megadeal to Robinson Cano, it is clear that the team wants to win as soon possible. Unfortunately for the Mariners, there seems to be a couple of potential roadblocks that could prevent the trade from happening.
To begin with, Price only has two years left on his contract, and has made it clear through his agent that he would not sign an extension with the Mariners when his contract expired. This means that the Mariners would have to be willing to trade away a top prospect, who could be very useful in years to come, for a star player who will only be with the team for two seasons.
Another problem comes from the fact that the team is unwilling to trade away their top pitching prospect, Taijuan Walker. The Mariners are, however, potentially willing to trade their young catcher, Mike Zunino. I would be surprised to see the Rays go for this deal, because the team already has a lot of depth at catcher. The Rays were planning on splitting time between Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton, and just acquired Ryan Hanigan from the Cincinnati Reds as part of a three-team deal.
The Diamondbacks are interested in the Rays’ ace as well, and could potentially be looking to make another trade with the team this offseason. The Diamondbacks are seriously lacking in starting pitching, and are looking to go back to the postseason for the first time since 2011. The team just recently added Mark Trumbo, which will certainly add a boost to their lineup, and are now in the hunt to boost their starting rotation.
If the Diamondbacks really want Price, they will have to give up pitching prospect, Archie Bradley. This would potentially be a huge risk, as Price has already made it clear that there is no guarantee that he would sign a contract extension with the team he is traded to. The team will ultimately have to decide whether having an ace for possibly only two seasons is worth trading away a young pitcher who could be one of the league’s future stars.
No matter which team ends up with Price for the 2014 season, there is almost no doubt that they will be rewarded with a very talented starting pitcher. There is nothing more helpful as the long season drags on than having a starter that can take pressure off of a team’s lineup by not allowing a lot of runs, and off of its bullpen by eating a lot of innings. It is very likely that David Price would do both of these things for whatever team he plays for in 2014. The Rays need to remember just how valuable this guy is for this season and beyond, and should only trade him if they get exactly what they want in return.
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