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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.)

  • gutshot5820

    Baez plus any three prospects not named Solar or Almora for Price. Trade Baez while he still has value.

    • Tobias

      I could see Baez, Vogelbach, Barney, and Pierce Johnson.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Add Amaya and Brookes Raley

      • waittilthisyear

        my little tidbit to this story…i saw david price at the airport, and i don’t know how many people here are familiar with thechive.com, but it is a website with a devoted following and apparel. anyway, he was wearing a chive t shirt, and i said “chive on 14″ and he smiled and we shook hands. i then said “can’t wait to have you in chicago next year” and he said “blue or black?” i said “blue baby all day” and he laughed.

        i read his body language as saying that it is a 100% guarantee, after accounting for what i want to see + bias

        • TWC

          Heh

        • DAN W

          Sweet Sweet Sweet

    • Noah

      Unless Vogelbach really shoots through the minors to Double A this year, someone like Alcantara (someone in the higher minors) performs really well this year, or one of the pitchers I think could become higher thought of prospects by the end of this year (Pierce Johnson, Dillon Maples or my favorite sleeper Ben Wells) do in fact become higher level prospects, I have a feeling it could require two of Baez, Almora and Soler (and I have a feeling the Rays would prefer not to have the costs associated with Soler, all other things being equal). And I’d be perfectly fine with that. Although if Vizcaino looks healthy and pitches well, he could be another significant piece.

    • InTheoWeTrust

      Couldn’t agree more with this. I am not a fan of Baez and think they should deal him while he is still has value. Plus they have other people in the system that can play third or short or even second. No Soler or Almora unless you get a prime outfielder in return.

  • Kyle

    I don’t see them paying both Garza and Price. It’d be an either/or situation. Price/Samardzija/Jackson/Wood/Appel is pretty drool-worthy in itself, though.

    The price is going to be absurd, and I really don’t expect us don’t reach it. I have trouble seeing the Rays trade Price for a low-minors prospect as the centerpiece, and it sure looks like a AA cup-of-coffee is Baez’s best case scenario right now. Soler’s contract makes him undesirable to the Rays as well.

    They got Myers for Jamie Shields. The price for Price is going to be absurd. You’ll be starting with Castro or Rizzo, adding in Baez or Almora, and adding in two more top-10 prospect pieces to boot.

    • Patrick G

      No way Castro or Rizzo are involved. Castro is already proven and Rizzo is still in his learning stages. Myers still has not done anything and could possibly be a bust (not saying he will but always that chance). Baez will be near a top-10 prospect next year in all of baseball if he keeps his progression as many would think it would (Myers was 2nd or 3rd before the trade). I think Baez plus few other top prospects could get Price.

    • BT

      That is all true, but Myers for Shields is not the baseline as long as the other 29 GM’s in the league continue to believe that the Royals got ripped off. Certainly the price for Price would be much higher, but the Myers deal doesn’t have to be an indicator of anything any more than the Beltran for Wheeler deal has been used by teams at the deadline as the basis for negotiations.

      • Kyle

        But that’s been the Rays’ MO for years.

        They don’t ask for everyone to present a reasonable offer and then pick the best.

        They’ll list an absurd demand to every team that calls and wait for one of them to say yes.

        • BT

          Also true, but someone has to say yes. If the Cubs are outbid by someone making an unreasonable bid, then so be it, but that’s the case in any trade with any team.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            It’s the “Other 28 GM’s” rule: one of them out there will bite. A Profar, Taveras or someone like that is going to be the cost.

            • Noah

              You did raise the one real dark horse. What if the Rangers offer Profar? Then it makes it VERY hard for the Cubs to beat that offer. Although I’ve heard more rumors that the Rangers would prefer to offer Profar for Stanton.

              • Kyle

                Not just based on that report but on several like it, I can only conclude that the Rangers have an incredible poker face with regards to Profar’s trade value. They can’t like him that much?

                • Sinnycal

                  Yeah, I don’t understand what they’re doing with him. They just blocked him for the next decade and then turned around like, “nah, we won’t deal him for Stanton.” Has to be posturing.

              • EQ76

                So…. the Rays and Marlins would “profar” to trade with the Rangers?

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Shields was cheaper contact wise.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      It would be pathetic if they don’t want to pay both Price and Garza.. They can certainly afford it…

  • Bryan

    Just thinking about that…

    Price
    Samardzija
    Garza
    Jackson
    Appel

    with guys like Wood/Villanueva waiting in the wings and the influx of young arms in the farm over last years draft and this years presumably as well

    …holy crap that would be fun

    • cyranojoe

      Would Appel be ready for the majors next year? Wouldn’t he need at least a year in the minors?

  • Cubbie Blues

    “hope that the Cubs’ top prospects continue to develop this year, and few explode out of nowhere.”
    I don’t think we should ever want few to explode. We should always want many to come out of nowhere. :P

  • JoeyCollins

    That rotation is my new dream.

  • john

    Wouldnt bother me too much to trade Baez for Price. Obviously we would have to add something else too, but that would be fine with me. Baez is a risk. He could be an allstar or he moght not even reach the majors. Price, Samardjiza, Garza, Jackson, and Appel would be amazing…

  • Jp3

    Oh my imagination will run wild tonight of that starting rotation going to sleep… It was nice knowing you Baez…

  • gutshot5820

    Then trade Almora and Solar plus any two prospects for Stanton. Extend Samardzia and Garza. Fill in the blank through free agancy. Sign Appel in the draft. There you will have your core for the next five years. Then going forward build through the draft and development. Problem solved.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      1. Marlins wouldn’t take that.
      2. We would have no top 100 prospects
      3. No

  • Ron

    For perspective would a Baez, Watkins, Pierce Johnson, Pangia (sp) be enough? Is there a good comparison so I can understand the pain of such a trade?

    • Kyle

      I doubt that’s enough unless Baez has a major breakout year or the Rays *really* like him for some reason.

      That’s the tricky part about predicting these things. We think of prospects in terms of their consensus value, but an individual team’s valuation may be wildly different.

    • JulioZuleta

      Gulp…I’m going to…agree…with Kyle. I don’t think that’s close to enough, actually.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      Maybe with Vogelbach and a couple others

    • Noah

      Yeah, I don’t think that’s enough. I do think if someone like Arismendy Alcantara, who is young, in the higher minors, and has a good ceiling, you might be able to throw him in.

      The Cubs traded two top 50 prospects for Matt Garza in Chris Archer and Hak Ju Lee, plus a bunch of other guys who are at least bench quality contributors. The Cubs would have one less year of control over Price, but Price is also a much better pitcher. You could make an argument that in an ideal rotation, Garza would be a 3 instead of a 2. Price is an ace. So you’re looking at the Garza trade as a bare minimum, and I sincerely doubt that would get it done. I didn’t love the Garza deal at the time (I thought Garza was a bit overrated), but that would be an absolute steal for the Cubs to get Price.

    • Edwin

      I’d start with the Greinke deal the Brewers made a couple years ago. Just by skimming, it’s at least a decent starting point.

  • TWC

    David Price? He of the 5.82 ERA and a WHIP >1.6? Pass. ###

    • Cubbie Blues

      Don’t forget about FB/HR 25%

  • JulioZuleta

    I wonder if Price will be the guy that decides to risk it and hit the market. Can you imagine that bidding war?

    • Edwin

      The Rays probably don’t let him hit the market. Or are you talking about Price not signing an extention with his new team?

      • JulioZuleta

        Not signing an extension.

  • The Brian Roberts Trade

    Garza netted 2 top 100 guys, right? Just trying to get a ballpark comparison.

  • North Side Irish

    I think with the Cubs not being able to add the pitching prospects to their offer that the Cardinals, Rangers, or maybe Boston could, the Cubs offer has to start with Baez, Almora, AND Soler. And that makes my stomach hurt to think about.

    • Demarrer

      Tampa needs position players. They grow pitchers on trees.

      • HCS

        It’s the tropical air. Pitcher trees rarely grow in cooler climates. Middle infileder bushes are apparently indigenous to Chicago. Much heartier, and able to withstand the cold winters.

  • Demarrer

    Baez, Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson and Watkins for Price and a low level minor leaguer. Cubs also get as much as possible of the international signing bonus that Tampa possesses.

  • TWC

    “Cubs the (Very) Early Frontrunner for David Price?”

    Hey, y’all remember when we were the frontrunner to win the World Series in 2004?

    *sigh*

  • The Brian Roberts Trade

    Baez, not drafted by Theo and Co, seems like the most likely guy to build the package around.

  • JBarnes

    Love that last hypothetical paragraph

  • Dustin S

    I’d love for the Cubs to get him, but it’s also a buy-high situation. Any team that picks him up will probably have to put together a package bigger than Upton’s was. There will be about 10 teams putting together huge offers for him if he has another season like last. It makes the idea a lot less appealing.

    BTW, I live west of Chicago, and will be extremely surprised if tonight’s game is not postponed. Lots of heavy rain, lightning, and some penny-size hail.

    • JBarnes

      ATL didn’t really give up shit for Upton so yes Price would take much much more.

      • JR

        Arizona, were absolute morons. And they wanted JUp out of town because he “didn’t run thru walls” “run the bases with his hair on fire” “or have Gibson’s look of intensity on the field” I don’t see another team giving up a stud like Upton for the package that ATL did again anytime soon.

  • Believe in 2015

    That rotation would be incredible!

  • terencemann

    While I would love to see David Price as a Cub, I think the Rays are going to aim for major league ready prospects in return for him. It’s going to take a boat-load of prospects as well as some sort of major league player as a filler. I don’t see how that lines up with anything this front office has said about how they plan to build this team. Trading the best prospects in the system right at the time this front office needs them to come up and start to produce seems contradictory to everything Hoyer and Epstein have said so far.

  • gutshot5820

    Wow this is funny. For a team that is relying on their prospects to bring a world Series to Wrigley. Apparently, our entire farm system is not enough to acquire one pitcher. I don’t know if this makes me laugh or cry.

    • Cubbie Blues

      It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife.

      • Sandberg

        <3

    • BT

      Baez, Almora and assorted C level guys would probably be enough, but the Cubs probably wouldn’t trade 2 top 40 prospects for him. So you can stop laughing and crying.

      • gutshot5820

        Because your expert opinion says so? Oh gee thanks, what a relief, now i can sleep well because your opinion is worth….

        • BT

          You’re right, we should listen to the rational guy that thinks if the Cubs offered every prospect they have, the Rays would say no.

          To finish your “Match Game 78″ question, I’ll go with “More than yours”.

          • Gene Rayburn

            That answer would never get any matches on Match Game 78 because it did involve the term “making whoopee.” :)

          • gutshot5820

            You are a head scratcher BT, you are raving about being rational, all at the same time you are turning an OBVIOUS exaggeration and taking it literally word for word. Way to be irrational.

  • http://Bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    I wonder if a deal of say Barney, Russel, Baez, Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson, Panigua, and cash could get it done? Damn, trying to think of a deal that would outbid other teams, bring Price to Chicago, all while not killing the farm is not an easy task.

    • InTheoWeTrust

      No Russel. He has been great the past two years and is to valuable to a bullpen with no left handed pitching and for that matter no one who can get anyone out. He is young and should be around for a while as well. Russell is a good base to a bullpen that will improve with Rondon and……..that’s all I got.

  • bloctoad

    I don’t see them paying Scott Borass, er Mark Appel.

    • terencemann

      The Cubs have plenty of money to sign him this year and he doesn’t have any leverage in negotiations since he’s a college senior this year. He has no where to go. There has been speculation that maybe he’d sign for a reasonable deal if the team promises to add him to the 40 man roster in September.

  • Dynastyin2016

    What’s Olney’s track record for accuracy? Sounds like he’s just trolling Cub fans. We have nothing to give that Tampa wants.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “We have nothing to give that Tampa wants.”

      The whole thing is an exercise in speculation in the extreme, but I’m going to guess that a top 10 farm system with multiple prospects in the top 50 has at least “something” that Tampa wants.

      • BT

        Sorry, I think gutshot has pretty thoroughly debunked that.

        • hansman1982

          Of all of the things “debunked” on this site, 1 of them is NOT:

          “If the Rays could ONLY trade Price to the Cubs the remaining time he is a Ray, the Rays and Cubs could not agree to a price.”

      • Dynastyin2016

        First, we’re talking Price not Garza. We got Garza for a few high upside lower level minor leaguers. Price is one of the few Aces in baseball, which should bring at least a few high upside major league ready players (like Myers). Who do we have that fits that description? No one.

        • BT

          Assuming the Rays are using your oddly specific specs for a trade, you might be onto something. Assuming they want value back, and won’t turn away value that isn’t major league ready, you probably aren’t. For instance if they were offered Byron Buxton or Addison Russell later this summer, I doubt they would tell the other teams to take a hike because those guys aren’t major league ready.

      • terencemann

        It’s not that the Cubs don’t have players the Rays want, I just don’t see how he lists them as the favorite to trade for Price since it doesn’t seem to fit in with the front office plans if Price is going to be traded in the coming off-season or even mid-season if the Rays have a bad first half (and I think it would have to be pretty bad).

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If the Rays opt to trade him midseason, I think the Cubs are f’d.

  • Blublud

    No way Baez goes.

    Almora, Vogelbach (unfortunately), Vizcaino, and Travis Wood(as i predicted :) he will have a great season) is the package to get it done.

    Baez and Soler are untouchable.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      Baez is the most likely of those 3 to go, he was not drafted by this FO…

    • gutshot5820

      How come every time a pitcher is actually umm… pitching good, some fan wants to trade him away. How about we stop rebuilding for some future 2019 and start building for 2014+ and start keeping and accumulating assets, so we can start contending.

      • willis

        If it was a piece to getting Price, you trade Wood. And he’d be the most attractive to them because of price tag (no pun intended) and results. I think the cubs would have to include someone with major league experience or close to ready. Since there is no one close to ready…Wood would get the push out the door.

    • InTheoWeTrust

      I think of the top 3 Baez is someone we should trade now. I feel he is overated and we need to get rid of him while we can. Do not trade away Vizcaino he is are closer for the next 5-8 years.

  • Spencer

    I clicked into fantasy land today!!

  • Willrust

    Any deal would have to start with Baez. Then would have to include Dan Vogelbach. Add in a pitching prospect that could contribute immediately (Raley or Rusin) and throw in a low level pitching prospect with #2-#3upside like Pierce Johnson or Dillon Maples. The Rays don’t have a need for both Baez & Watkins due to them already having Longoria, Zobrist and the previous prospect the Cubs traded in the Garza deal (Lee). Though, if the Rays would like to throw in Zobrist for Watkins, I wouldn’t object.

    • gutshot5820

      Raley or Rusin? LOL… they would DFA them immediately if either one were on their 40 man.

  • muley

    I don’t buy Cubs for Price…Been down this road with the Rays when they traded the farm for Garza.. You can expect the Cubs to take the opposite approach they took when guided by Hendry.. This regime has state a mission of developing a group of core players to build around adding FA to augment , not to draft and trade off to another team for high priced talent..Unless they can get Price for Voglebach and additional like similar taIent I don’t see it happening..
    I guess I’d be disappointed if the price for Price include and of the Cubs top 5 or 6..

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      they didn’t trade the farm for Garza, in fact I don’t think those guys are close to the majors anyway…

      • hansman1982

        Um, Chris Archer has pitched in the majors. Last year, on a playoff team.

        • Ryan

          To the tune of a 4.60 ERA

        • Ryan

          Also, remind me when the Rays made the playoffs in 2012.

          • terencemann

            Archer is a pretty good pitching prospect with the potential to be a mid-rotation guy or a high leverage reliever. The Rays are just flush with pitching so it’s hard to find a spot for him. In addtion, Hak-Ju Lee started the season in AAA. Guyer is the only guy who’s been a bust from that trade. Even Fuld has had some utility value for them.

            • YourResidentJag

              I can’t say I agree with this. Over Cobb and Hernandez, both of whom are starters in the Rays rotation, you’re saying the Rays want to start the season with either of them over Archer? More like Archer’s been having control issues which is concerning if you’re the Rays and you’re trying to get a SP value out of him.

  • North Side Irish

    Sahadev Sharma ‏@sahadevsharma 7m
    Big Z just pulled into Wrigley players parking lot. No joke. I’m assuming he’s just visiting… or looking for a job. #zambranoforcloser

    Maybe they can trade him for Price?

    • DarthHater

      He’s interviewing to become special mentor for Soler.

  • gutshot5820

    Can someone please explain the value in letting Garza walk for free after this year if there is no extension and at the same time trading our entire farm for Price. How about we extend Garza for about half the price of Price and use the other half of the money we would have spent on Price on something good and keep our prospects for something else.

    • Kyle

      Trading a bunch of prospects and paying a ton of money for Price does feel like it would be an odd 180 after the last two years.

      But Garza is damaged goods at this point.

      • Dynastyin2016

        Getting Price does seem like getting the luxury suite on the Titanic…..it looks nice…but it wouldn’t change that much.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Replace the #5 pitcher on the Cubs with or any of the other 28 teams with Price. Now, tell me that this does not make a difference with a straight face.

          • hansman1982

            and then replace the worst guy in the bullpen with that #5 starter on a team like the Cubs and you have a GIANT benefit.

            The question is, outside of Baez, who is the guy you would be most willing to part with? Who would the Rays value more?

          • Dynastyin2016

            let’s do the trade…let’s pay price 15 mil so we can be a 78 win team rather than a 70 win team…happy days are coming…

          • gutshot5820

            You are only replacing Garza with Price, you still have your same #5 pitcher,

            Minus – 15M a year (difference in Garza and Price extension)
            Minus – 3-4 elite prospects.

            • TWC

              “Elite” prospects?

              The Cubs don’t have any.

      • gutshot5820

        I’m just talking about value here.

        1/ The value of War the Cubs can expect in trade or production from their top prospects.
        2/ Garza’s expected War if healthy
        3/ The value of the extra 15M saved from Prices’ future extension vs Garza that can be used on an elite outfielder’s War production
        VS
        30M a year for Price and expected War

        I have to believe, extending Garza, trading Baez for Headley and signing Jacoby Ellsbury would get us to the playoffs quicker. Plus, we get to keep our other prospects.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          1) There is no way that the Pads deal Headley for Baez as a centerpiece. (Baez actually is a very poor player for the Pads strategies.)

          2) I love Els, but he’d smash into the bricks within 2 weeks of play and be DL’ed for 2 months. Two weeks later, lather, rinse & repeat.

          3) Don’t expect Garza to be healthy.

          • gutshot5820

            Eh… Doc you should stick to statistics.

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