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david priceIt’s early – so, so, so very early – but we’ve already seen a great many folks connecting David Price to the Chicago Cubs. That would be the same David Price who isn’t a free agent for another couple years, and pitches for a team with playoff aspirations. Remember these things before you get too excited about the possibility of Price in a Cubs uniform any time soon.

But, given the Rays’ modest budget and Price’s escalating salary – to say nothing of their previous penchant for trading stars like Price as they approach free agency – it’s fair to project that they’ll move Price in the offseason, if not sooner. Price, 27, makes more than $10 million this year, and has two more pricey arbitration years left. If moved after this season, the Rays could stand to pick up a ton of quality – cost-controlled – young players in return.

So, if the Rays do end up moving Price, where might he wind up?

Well, offering an early, educated guess, Buster Olney has the Cubs at the top of his list of Price landing spots, on top of the Red Sox, Cardinals and Rangers. So much can happen between now and the time Price is actually traded, but it certainly makes sense. The Cubs will need a top of the rotation starter soon, and they could have a glut of positional prospects to trade by the end of this season. With top players increasingly attainable only by trade or internal development, it’s very easy to see the Cubs going hard after Price. Of course, so will many teams.

To that end, if you hope the Cubs land Price, you also need to hope that the Cubs’ top prospects continue to develop this year, and few explode out of nowhere. The price on Price is going to be extreme, and it would necessarily have to start with someone like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, or Albert Almora.

One thing seems pretty clear: waiting on free agency for Price isn’t going to work. He’s going to be traded, and he’s going to be traded to a team intent on locking him up long-term.

(Here’s where you allow yourself a moment – just a moment – to drool about the possibility of a 2014 rotation that includes David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson, and Mark Appel. Ok. Enough of that.)

  • James

    What is silly is that Theo and Jeb have only been with the Cubs for little over a year now and people are screaming. Long term is following what Tampa did and build a team through the farm system. Every year Tampa is in the playoff hunt. I would like to see the Cubs there to. The Cubs can’t be there by tradeing prospect away because we want the team to win now and screw next year. 2015 is fine with me if it means that the Cubs are good for 10 years. It shouldn’t be good for any of us if there good for one year or two and the suck for 5 years in a row.

    • Kyle

      It took Tampa Bay 10 years of last place finishes to get to that point.

      Nine more to go…

      • JulioZuleta

        *10 more. Astros were last place.

      • Name

        Wrong. Andrew Friedman has only been GM for 7+ years. They floundered before that, yes, but the idiots howling already must be expecting Theo/Jed to be buying free agents. That almost never works in terms of building a consistent contender.

        Take it easy, dumbasses. The rest of us understand what is happening.

        • Kyle

          They did buy free agents. They bought a *lot* of free agents.

          Take it easy yourself, because you clearly don’t understand what happened.

  • James

    I guess we can understand why the Cubs havn’t won anything in over a hundred years. Because people want everything now and don’t think about the future. I guess we forget that Tampa started off with no farm system and had to draft players from everyteam. Let’s look at them now. Oh I guess that dosn’t matter.

    • Kyle

      I like to think it’s because fans buy into every dorky plan that someone promises them will result in some vague, amazing future.

  • Bill

    Yep, tell the fans you have a long term plan, you are building for the future and you can pretty much do any stupid thing want. Eventually fans wake up and realize there never really was a good plan, just a lot of hot air, and they scream for that GM to be removed. Then a new GM gets hired and we start the process all over again.

    Geez, what I’d do for a Steinbrenner type as owner of the Cubs. Sure, George was too involved, but he did whatever it took to bring a winner to NY. He never would have settled for a GM telling him, “boss, we need to gut the big league club, ignore it for a few years, and build up the farm system and MAYBE in 5-6 years we can field a competitive team”.

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      Well nobody with at least a little knowledge about baseball would ever say that a guy like ricketts has any idea what he’s doing as far as running a baseball team like Steinbrenner did.

      Ricketts has been here almost four years. He has mike mcCaskey loser written all over him.

  • Bill

    What would it take to get someone like Daniel Straily of the A’s? His numbers the last couple years have been eye popping. A guy who has a mid 90’s fastball, above avg curve, strikes a lot of guys out, and doesn’t walk a lot of guys.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    David Price has been off to a slow start this year, most of which can be attributed to his cutter and curve getting hammered, but his xFIP is 3.84, so it should even out as the year goes on.

    Have we forgotten about Arodys Vizcaino? The Front Office has stated that “his value is being a starter… he will be a starter.” The timetable for his return is dubious, though.

    We need offense. Our rotation has been fine (other than EJax’s early hiccups and Feldman’s bad luck). We’re waiting on minor league guys to get at bats and impress us.

    Young, controllable guys give us the financial flexibility to sign proven, offensive producers. Schierholtz has been a good surprise and was signed for cheap. I think we wouldn’t have to give up much to get Price, because he’ll get a ton in arbitration figures the next two years-which Tampa can’t pay. They’ve struggled early on and maybe they’re starting to panic, so, it might be time to press and pull the trigger on Price…

    LF Alfonso Soriano [*]
    CF Desmond Jennings
    RF Nate Schierholtz [*] / Ben Zobrist vs LHP
    1B James Loney / Shelley Duncan vs LHP
    2B Ryan Roberts / Kelly Johnson vs LHP
    3B Evan Longoria
    SS Ben Zobrist / Yunel Escobar vs LHP
    C Jose Molina
    C Jose Lobaton
    OF/DH Matt Joyce
    SP Alex Cobb
    SP Matt Moore
    SP Roberto Hernandez
    SP Chris Rusin [*]
    SP Jeremy Hellickson
    RP Brandon Gomes
    RP Jake McGee (struggling)
    RP Joel Peralta
    RP Blake Parker [*]
    RP Jamey Wright (old)
    SU Kyle Farnsworth (5.40 ERA)
    CL Fernando Rodney (struggling)

    LF Soriano + cash
    RF Schierholtz (L)
    SP Rusin (L) (AAA)
    RP Parker (AAA)
    C Flores (AAA)

    for David Price and IF Sean Rodriguez. Fills their needs and all are cheap. They may want prospects, but that package right there seems attractive now (and costs about the same as what they’re paying Price right now).

    • brickhouse

      Tampa would never consider your proposal for Price. Why would they want an aging Soriano and backup OF and some fringe prospects. You need to start with Baez and Soler and additional prospects to get a conversation going.

    • ncsujuri

      Mike, despite his struggles early on this year Price is going to cost WAY more than that. As brickhouse said there will likely be 2-3 top 10 prospects going their way to make it happen which is why there is much hand-wringing among posters whether he is worth it or not. IMO the Rays won’t be as interested in Baez as the two studs in the OF (Soler & Almora) because they are set on the left side w/ Longoria & Lee as their SS of the future. They could always move either of Baez or Lee to 2B though I suppose. Vogelbach makes alot of sense since he is a weak glove HUGE bat type who could DH for them.

      And, unless I am mistaken, we can’t trade Shierholz this early in the season since we signed him as a FA just this past off-season. I think its sometime in June that restriction goes away, but not sure.

  • James

    Theo and Jed have got the Cubs with one of the best farm systems in baseball right now. Theo and Jed also took over a team with some terrible contracts which they are still trying to get rid of. To say that they done a terrible job is just silly. Teams that win every year have at least 5 or 6 players that have come up through there farm system. I read somebody talking about the Yankees. Yes they bought players and they also delevoped alot of players from there farm system. Look again at the Braves another team that seems to be there every year. That team has many players that also came up from there farm system. The Braves farm system ranks as the best farm system in all of baseball. So to say building a farm system is dorky is really funny. The Cubs have had the same plan on how to bring them a world series team for over a hundred years. It hasn’t gotten the Cubs very far has it? So Theo and Jed have a plan that has worked for other teams, but we as Cubs fans don’t care. We want everyingthing right now.

    • Willie Smith

      cubs fans want everthing right now…………….105 years later we want a championship right now. DO YOU THINK???????????

      maybe the damn dumbest comment i’ve ever seen regarding cubs fans and their patience.

      the team has had the same plan for over 100 years????………..free agency did not even exist till the 1970’s with curt flood and andy messersmith challengining the system.

      what the hell are you talking about??

      105 years later………..we want it now.

    • Bill

      Don’t the Cubs already have 5 or 6 guys who came up through their system (Castro, Barney, Castillo, Shark, Russell)? Rizzo, Wood, and Sappelt spent time last year in their farm system. When can they cease putting out a garbage product for the major league team? The core is in place, now put some pieces around them. Theo has failed to address the huge hole at 3B, CF, and he’s done very little with the bullpen.

      Theo has done a nice job improving the farm system, although the improvement started during Hendry’s last year when Ricketts finally let him spend money in the draft. . Theo has done a horrible job of putting a decent product on the field at the major league level. Farm systems and prospects are nice but the bottom line is how is the major league club doing?

    • Kyle

      Building a farm system is not dorky. Building a farm system is absolutely a prerequisite for having a good organization.

      The problem is building only the farm system and letting your MLB team crater out. That’s not a good plan.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    *If Soriano doesn’t waive his NTC, we would have to replace him in the deal with 1 top 20 prospect… if we get it done, we’ll have a great rotation when Garza comes back, because Feldman and Wood/Villanueva would have to go to the pen… and it would make Gregg, Marmol, Loe, and Camp all extra weight…

    LF Sweeney (L)
    CF Borbon (L) [waivers]
    RF DeJesus (L)
    1B Rizzo (L)
    2B Barney
    3B Stewart (L)
    SS Castro
    C Castillo
    C Navarro (S)
    OF Sappelt
    OF Hairston
    IF Gonzalez
    3B Valbuena (L)

    SP Price (L)
    SP Samardzija
    SP Garza
    SP Jackson
    SP Villanueva

    LR Wood (L)
    LR Feldman
    RP Rondon
    RP Loe / Camp
    SU Russell (L)
    SU Bowden
    CL Marmol / Gregg (ugh)

  • Cubs82

    The Chicago Cubs are in desperate need of top of the rotation pitching they severely lack in their organization. With that being said, David Price is certainly on the market, and the Chicago Cubs have recently just agreed to a 500 million dollar Wrigley Field renovation that has led owner Tom Ricketts to promise a world series. To win a world series, they need an ace. David Price is an ace, so wouldn’t it make sense?

    It’s really early in the game, but sources have told Rant Sports that the Cubs are certainly eyeballing the David Price situation closely and would part with one of their best prospects to headline a deal.

    This tells me Albert Almora or Javier Baez is certainly available for the right player and this is a deal that makes sense to me.

    The Cubs are a team that can’t pitch. They have a heavy amount of hitter prospects and could part with a few of them to bring on the pitching. It makes sense that the Cubs would strike early and lock Price down for 7 years as Price is a guy that could anchor the rotation for this club.

    If you’re a Cubs fan, I don’t see how you could be upset about trading a prospect for a cy young winner. It’s more likely prospects fail than succeed and when you have the opportunity to get a stud, you should get the stud if you can afford him- the Cubs can.

    I would feel REAL good with David Price and Jeff Samardzija heading the rotation for the next 5 or 6 years. Throw in a top pick this year (Mark Appel) and a top pick next year, they could easily make up for losing a Javier Baez pretty easily.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the Cubs pull the trigger here, it certainly would go a long way in showing the fans they want to win a World Series. To do that, it starts at the top of the rotation.

    • Voice of Reason

      Settle down, Cubs82!

      Let’s not go nuts. We’re just starting to develop a minor league system.

      Price has a lot of years on that arm, just like Garza did when we traded with the Rays to get Garza! Then again, we’ve given the Rays their replacement for Price — Chris Archer.

      Instead of trading for Price, I’d like to develop players like Chris Archer, Baez and Almora and keep them on our team instead of trading them away at the blink of an eye.

      Do we need starting pitching? Sure we do.

      But, we’re going to lose 100 games this year and we need so much more than just David Price to be competitive.

      Cubs fans are just going to have to be patient for a couple of years until the organization figures out what minor league players will make it. THEN, they will start signing free agents and filling holes where they don’t have minor league players ready to step in.

      • Edwin

        In no way is Chris Archer a replacement for David Price.

  • Timmy

    There’s no way we get Price. Rickets will never allow Theo to invest that much in a player. He doesn’t care if the team wins or loses. They’re just giving us a lot of business equivocation so they can take money and run before they sell the team in a few years.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Yup, because the best way to make money is to have a losing ball club.

      • Edwin

        It’s like the plot to Major League happening before our very eyes!

    • Voice of Reason

      Hey Timmy…

      What’s the precedence that you can reference to back up your statement that Rickets won’t allow Theo to trade for Price?

      • brickhouse

        They won’t pick up Price because of the cost of prospects and cost of the contract. It does not fit the model of the rebuild they are implementing. They have too many holes to fill and are not close to competing to invest that much into 1 player that will not put them over the top.

        • Voice of Reason

          You’re exactly right, brickhouse.

          We already gave the Rays their next future big starting pitcher in Chris Archer. And, we gave him up for Matt Garza!!! How does Garza look these days? Alot of innings on that arm are now causing trouble for Matt.

          And, guess what? Price has a lot of innings on his arm. See a precedence here?

          The Rays are just chomping at the bit… waiting to bend the Cubs over once again and get another one of our future stars for one of their arms that is getting older!

          • Cubbie Blues

            champing

          • hansman1982

            Looks like someone needs to give the Rays this bit since there is a new front office in town:

            [img]http://www.horsenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/31743_A.jpg[/img]

  • Voice of Reason

    And for the record… Theo and his gang are too smart to get bent over like Hendry did.

  • Frat Rat

    Too soon for Price. He would need to be the final piece of the puzzle, not the answer to the question, “Who did the Cubs trade some of the best prospects they’ve had in years for?”

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