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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.)

  • a_mazz_ing

    “David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson, and Mark Appel. Ok. Enough of that.”

    … I… umm… whaaa… woaahhhh…. uhhh… *faints*

    • Tommy

      Wow, that rotation would be fun. I must admit!

    • Rob

      Interesting, 3 ex-Rays pitchers. Not complaining, I love that rotation

    • Steve

      … I… umm… whaaa… woaahhhh…. uhhh… *farts*

  • Answer3

    Would they even want Baez? They already have Hak-Ju Lee that is tearing it up at AAA as their future SS and Longoria at 3B. I think Almora would be #1 on their list and I think the Cubs would rather it be Baez, because his value is at SS and they already have one for the next 10 years. We can’t compare the Shields deal, because KC got fleeced on that one. Theo is way too savvy to get anything pulled over his head. It may not happen because you can’t mortgage your whole future on one player (maybe Trout or Harper are exceptions) especially on a pitcher.

    • PKJ

      Has KC really been fleeced on that one? Odorizzi and Myers haven’t played a game yet and Shields proved to be a solid addition to a potential wild card contender. If I’m the Cubs I trade pretty much whatever it takes to get Price.

      • Kyle

        Yes, completely fleeced. Nobody’s played a game in the future at this point, but based on what we know, Myers is reasonably expected to be insanely valuable in that future.

      • Answer3

        3 of their top 10 prospects in what was a very good system before the trade for a #2 starter and a #5-6ish guy that is better in middle relief. Yeah, completely fleeced! If they would have gotten an ace you could possibly justify it and I don’t know if you can put k.c. and wild card contender in same sentence, just doesn’t sound right.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      HJ Lee has a 0.520 BABiP so far this season in a grand total of 12 games. That’s not going to last.

      However, if you think that it will, then Dogbert has some great investment opportunities for you!
      http://www.dilbert.com/2013-04-17/

      • Answer3

        Not saying he is gonna be the second coming of Ernie Banks with the bat, but I do think he could be a .275 guy with high OBP, 30 steals and gold glove type D. Saw him play in Peoria and he was really smooth and fluid in the field with maybe a little carelessness on throws (only 19 I believe at the time), but got to everything.

        • JR

          Doc, apparently very strong defensive shortstops are worth a ton. Check out the Elvis Andrus contract, and what Arizona gave up for Didi Gregerious.

  • willis

    It would take a ton, but it would be an awesome get. I don’t care who it takes in the minors as long as he is not named Soler.

    I’d start with Baez, Vogelbach, Any of the top few arms in the system, let’s say Johnson for grins, and Wood. Sprinkle in a couple other “C” level players and call it a day.

    • RickyP024

      I read that the initial talks would probably start with something very similar to what you mentioned. Almora, Vogelbach, and Vizcaino. At this point everything is just speculation, though. Would be great to have Price at the top of the rotation, that’s for sure.

  • Chad

    The Cubs need a legit #1. I hate giving up prospects, but getting a proven ace is letting a few well thought of prospects go. The only prospect I would not trade would be Soler. Baez and Almora are on the table in my book, but only for a guy like Price.

  • Jim

    I think it is too early in the system build to let that much talent go. Remember that our last purge also went to the Rays for Garza. And when talking about a great rotation you need to include Travis Wood. He is our best pitcher this year so far.

    • willis

      I disagree. Wood is pitching out of his mind right now, and that’s great to see. But he’s not the best pitcher on this staff. He’s maybe #3 behind Shark and Garza. Now, that changes if Garza continues on his china doll path, but I don’t see that. I think he comes back strong. I’m happy to see Wood throwing well, but if you had to include him and a couple top 5 guys to land a proven, damn awesome arm in Price, you do it.

      It’s never too early in any type of “phase” to acquire an arm like Price. JMO.

    • EQ76

      Villenueva has been our best pitcher so far this year.

  • Mark

    “David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson, and Mark Appel.”

    I just peed a little.

    • Eric

      I did something, but it wasn’t pee.

      • willis

        I remember that…not quite knowing what it was…

  • Arjun

    I can see a package based around Vogelbach – the Rays really lack 1B/DH types and Vogelbach’s ceiling in Chicago is limited, especially given the presence of Anthony Rizzo.

    • willis

      Oh he’d almost definitely be in there with the being an AL team. If he has a huge year this year I can see him being a key cog. But I think you have to lump either Baez or Almora in with him.

    • Marc N

      I’ve long hoped that Vogelbach would become good enough to headline a trade for a top AL player. It would be very convenient.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      You don’t trade a pitcher like Price for a package in which a 1B/DH as the centerpiece. Although the Rays have been very unlucky there, it is *should* be too easy to stick a good bat there. (Of course, the Rays cheapness coupled with the fact that salaries are based on raw statistics rather than WAR does make it tougher for them: an average 1Bman can command too much money!)

      Instead, look for the Rays to target a good hitter from a skill position. If Baez had a batting eye, then the Rays might be interested in him because he can play SS. However the Rays tend to prefer guys who are selective.

      Again, Kyle’s (and probably other peoples’) point remains: the Rays managed to get Myers for Shields. They’ll be getting someone like Myers and then some for Price. This is candy that everybody wants.

  • Chad

    Those who say we gave up too much for Garza look at what they have turned into? Not much Fuld is maybe a 5th outfielder and Archer may crack the mlb sometime. My point is a ML ace in hand is worth much more than a few prospects in the proverbial bush. especially if they are currently in High A ball. Just sayin, I wouldn’t be mad if they made this move.

    • Cub2014

      Make the trade: I love vogelbach but throw in travis wood and pierce
      Johnson and an outfielder maybe trey martin. In the Garza deal I think
      the rays received: chirinos,archer,lee and fuld that was painless to get
      A proven starter, so it will have to be a little sweeter for Price.

      • Bric

        Brandon Guyer (who was the previous minor league player of the year) was also included in that trade. We got one or two minor leaguers but I don’t remember who. Clearly all of the prospects supplied by the Cubs we legit, whereas, the only real player coming back was Garza. Five players for one was pretty steep, and Price is a better pitcher (now, and then) than Garza.

        • Drew7

          IIRC, Chirinos and Guyer weren’t ever “legit prospects”, and Fuld was a 5th OF that was out of options. The trade was essentially Garza for Lee and Archer.

          Also, wasn’t it Rosscup that came over with Garza?

          • Willrust

            To play the what if game:

            Cubs never pulled off the Garza trade…

            Ended up with a worse record than Houston last year and drafted Mark Appel 1st.

            Traded Lee & a pitching prospect to Arizona for Trevor Bauer.

            Then traded Baez, Wood, Vogelbach and Dillon Maples to the Rays for Price.

            Cubs 2014 rotation:
            Price, Samardzija, Jackson, Bauer, Appel.

  • gutshot5820

    Appel, Samardzia, Garza, Jackson, Wood

    Jacoby Ellsbury, Castro, Rizzo, Stanton, Headley, Fill-in-the-blank, Barney, Wellington Castillo

    I would trade the farm for both Stanton and Headley and sign Ellsbury over the off season.

    This could be a strong core for years to come and not out of the realm of fantasy.

    • InTheoWeTrust

      Couldn’t agree more. I think they should really look at ways to get Stanton. That is the only way I would be okay with Soler in a trade, but it might just take Baez and others. Marlins need a shortstop.

      • BWA

        Stanton is always hurt. I’d much rather have price.

        • JR

          Yeah Stanton is obviously a stud. But that dude is banged up constantly, at a young age. I don’t see him aging well..

        • Drew7

          When has he been hurt outside of last year?

          • MichiganGoat

            He’s banged up right now not on the DL but there are concerns- although part of it might be the bile in his stomach from being stuck on the Marlins.

          • JR

            Stanton has been banged up the other 3 years he was up a lot. He’s always got some injury situation going on, especially with his knees. I just know from a fantasy baseball perspective that dude is questionable all the time to play.

            • JR

              Drew7, Don’t get me wrong I would deal Baez, Almora, and Vogelbach for Stanton without blinking. But he does seem to get banged up a lot for a younger dude. Something to think about..

    • Behind enemy lines (south side cub fan)

      But gutshot the FARM SYSTEM

      We have plan in place no reason to give that up for expensive players

    • MichiganGoat

      Right now we don’t have enough to get Stanton, Price, or Headley. The only chance we have is that Soler, Almora, and Baez have great seasons and that would only net us one of those players and that might not even be enough.

      • MichiganGoat

        We have to try to find these players before they get to the pros and/or before they get noticed as the next great thing in the minors.

  • #1lahairfan

    Realistically the trade would be:

    Baez, Soler, Vizcaino, Dillon Maples, Travis Wood, David DeJesus’s option, and say Jeimer Calendario for Price.

    I don’t want to do it. It wold be kind of painful.

    • #1lahairfan

      Would

    • Cub2014

      Outfield of: solar in LF, ellsbury in CF,FA lefty power in right.
      And 3B? Baez,Villanueva,candelario,alcantera,Bruno,Lake
      Maybe Stewart but it will be tough to find a quality FA 3B.

      Pitching: Price,Samardizja,Garza or Baker,Jackson,Vizcaino or
      Villanueva or Appel or Wood or Feldman. Wow that will be beyond
      Good, but the closer will still need to be found.

    • Chad

      It won’t be that steep, but could be close to that.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Why in the world would it be six players (including four of our top eight prospects and a guy who is an established MLB pitcher) for one pitcher?

      The Royals got two pitchers (Davis and Shields) and PTBNL/cash for four prospects (including three of their top five).

    • Dave

      That would probably be more than it would take to get Price.
      In reality though how many of the players you mentioned will end up amounting to anything. Maybe one or two.
      It was not that long ago that a trade involving Vitters, B Jackson,McNutt and a throw in of closer prospect like Dolis would have seemed extreme to the Cub fanbase.

  • Kenster

    How about a package of Almora, Watkins, Maples, and Vogelbach?? or sub out one of the last three for a PTBNL of one of our picks for this years draft?

  • Cheryl

    Wouldn’t they want someone established? I’d give them Rizzo, Maples, Baez and Almora.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      No, the Rays will want players over whom they will have the maximum years of control. What probably will happen is that they’ll get a Profar or Taveras, and then leave him in AAA for the first part of next year to “round out his game” (’cause, like, Will Myers needs that so badly), and then call the superprospect up after a couple of months to gain another year’s control while hoping that they are still in the race.

      This actually came up with regards to the Ranger’s decision to send Profar back to AAA this spring. By doing that, they are increasing his trade value to the cheap teams by just a little bit: but that little bit might top the next best offer.

  • mysterious4th

    The thought of that rotation sounds pretty good. EXCEPT is Jackson going to keep having those 1 inning Randy Well/Chris Volstad melt downs and can Travis Wood be a reliable back end guy? But Price, Shark, and Garza…yes please! I think Garza would do even better with those 2 pitchers ahead of him. Take some pressure off of being the “number 1.”

    • Cyranojoe

      Dude, if EJax is our #4 guy… that’s the hottest starting pitching we’ve had since Maddux et al, isn’t it?

      • Cyranojoe

        As a group, I mean, of course.

  • Die hard

    So with the added scoreboards making Wrigley a home run haven when wind blows in too shouldn’t all available funds be committed to signing every homer hitter on earth?!

    • MichiganGoat

      You mean a team of Adam Dunns?

  • macpete22

    Would love to get Price! But, would hate to give up Almora or Soler for him. I can deal with trading Baez, Vogelbach, etc.

  • bballlover14

    How is that a great possible rotation? The shark is the only one that has had remotely good success but he is still young so who knows what will happen. Price is obviously good, but Garza will be traded and keeps getting hurt. Jackson is a terrible fit for that team, especially pitching at Wrigley. Appell hasnt proved anything in the majors so you dont know how well he will be as a MLB pitcher. Just calm down.

  • Phil

    i gotta say, adding another good starter is good for the cubs, BUT the real problem isn’t their starting rotation…. it’s that god AWFUL bullpen they have. they don’t have a closer (they’ve tried three differents ones within the first 2 weeks of this season) and they have maybe 2 or 3 relievers who can actually go without giving up a run over an inning. adding Price sounds GREAT, but relief is what really needs to focused on. i went to a game last week and, as a cubs fan, i can say i was actually kind of blown away by how well they were hitting. i understand they are most likely going to loose 110-120 games this year, but thats all due to the blown leads due to the relief pitchers…. SIDE NOTE; Dale Svuem seems to have NO faith, at all, in his starters (Jeff Samardzija is having the GREATEST game of his career and is looking to finish the game with over 20 K’s, he gives up 3 runs over 6 innings, and YOU PULL HIM OUT!? COME ON!)

    • MichiganGoat

      Meh Bullpens are so fickle from year to year. You never know when someone steps up and has a great year.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The other thing is that the Cubs have blown late leads in all of 3 games: and they won one of them! (Yes, they have 4 blown saves, but 2 of them were in one loss to the Giants; remember, you can get multiple blown saves in one game.) I think that people have this idea that the Cubs were leading late in a lot more games than they actually were. After all, with this offense, it is going to be tough for them to lead late too often.

      • SwingDoctor

        They may have blown late LEADS only 3 times, but on how many occasions have games been busted open when a starter leaves the game tied or down 1-2?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Um, so far…. I don’t think that has happened yet this year, has it? The closest thing to that scenario was the 7-4 loss to the Brewers where the Brewers went from 5-2 to 7-2 in the 7th or 8th inning. However, a 3 run lead against this Cubs team is already a “busted open” game. Like most Cubs loses, the Cubs gave up more runs in the first 6 innings than they would score the entire game. Even that has been less the fault of the starters and more the fault of the dismal OBP.

  • Next Year Come Faster

    I say trade Garza first and use some of the prospects we got for him and use them to get Price. Add Brett Jackson and if they want one of our big three than Baez

  • JR

    What about Ian Kinsler in a Garza deal to the Rangers. They need to something with their middle infield with Profar as the top prospect. The Cubs could then flip Barney. It would be a great way to add some pop for the 2014 and 2015 in the lineup.

  • Diamond Don

    Why all this talk about trading all our top prospects for Price? Why decimate the farm system for one pitcher? The Cub’s starting pitching is good now without Garza who will return soon. I’d rather sign Garza and keep all our starting pitchers. Hopefully draft Appel or another pitcher with the second pick and our starting pitching will be fine. The Cubs need a bullpen upgrade more than anything! Secondly, we need a 3rd baseman with some pop. Keep the top prospects (Baez, Soler, Almora, Vicaino) and let them develop into the stars we all think they will be in Chicago.

  • Mike

    The Cubs hopefully have some time on their side. Gotta believe the Rays won’t trade him until after the 2014 season. This would be similar to what they did with Shields. They need to have someone identified as the ace to replace Shields. Hellickson and Moore will be sitting right there with 3+ years of service time and the experience to fill in for Price. The Rays understand pitching is what will keep them competitve and they will be asking for this in return for Price. Again similar to Shields. I suspect it will be a high end positional prospect and two top 100 pitching prospects.

    The Cubs have to hope Garza comes back strong and they can get a similar return to what the Brewers got from the Angels (Top 50, Top 100, and high upside guy). These prospects need to be pitching for the Cubs.

    I think the ideal scenario for the Cubs would be by mid season 2014 (Trade Deadline), Baez, Soler and Vizcaino or one of the pitching pieces picked up by trading Garza emerge to be core pieces for the Cubs. One of Volgabach, Almora, Candelario or Alcantara advances be that top 10 MLB positional prospect and two of Underwood, Paniagua, Blackburn, Johnson, Maples or the other prospect picked up by trading Garza advance into the top 100.

    • Blublud

      There is no way in my opinion the Rays wait til after 2014 to trade Price. He will be traded at the deadline this year or in the offseason. The Rays will want maximize their return, and trading him with 2 years of arb left will get that done. The Cubs have the prospect now to get a deal, bu could possibly be in a better position when Baez and Soler, and possibly Vogelbach are in Tennessee, Almora possibly in Daytona and a few of the young pitching prospects start moving up by years end.

  • Saving grace

    Olney did also say the St.Louis Cardinals would be #1 if they chose to go in on Price.I heard him on weei in Boston.
    He said with the quality and depth they would be the #1 choice if they go in on Price.

    The Rangers also are in much need of an ace on a very good team so they will be competitive.

    The bidding could get ridiculous

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He must have re-thought things after he wrote his piece.

      • Saving grace

        He did say Cubs 1,Red sox 2 and Rangers 3
        I may not of said it correctly
        He then said Cards would be 1 if they “chose” to go in on it because of the strong system they have

        Sorry if you caught that wrong

        It sounded like he didn’t think they were going to be in on it

  • Reality Check

    price never comes here. he’ll want a 7 or 8 yr deal for 175-200M and rickets will never allow that for next year nor would it make sense when this team will be bad till 2016. almora or vogelbach won’t be ready till then nor will most of the low or high A pitching; if it even pans out.
    rickets doesn’t have the balls to spend that kind of money.

    I read the same article. olt and profar are more major league ready so texas could easily throw in a Derek Holland or cards do it with Martinez-wacha and Rosenthal.

    maybe in 2015, but I doubt the rays wait that long.

    nothing but a pipe dream is price.

    this is a looooooong major market 1st in its history rebuild.

  • Blublud

    If the Cubs are even considering offering Baez for Price, they are Idiots, plain and simple. The only top prospects I would offer is Almora and Vogelbach. If then Rays insist on Baez, fine. Take Baez, one pitching prospect and a fringe guy. If that’s not enough, kick rocks.

    Baez and Soler are to valuable to include in a deal with Vogelbach, Vizcaino or another top prospect. If its Baez or Soler, then maybe I offer Rubi Silva, and Dillion Maple. If Maple gets healthy and breaks out, then Cubs get fleece. But if he become just a good to decent pitcher, then that’s a fair trade. But that would be the most I would give if Baez or Soler is in any deal.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      If the Rays got Myers for Shields, then there is no way that they settle for Baez as the centerpiece for Price. Again, it’s going to be an elite prospect like a Profar or a Taveras and then maybe a Baez as well to get Price. (Baez isn’t the sort of player that the Rays usually like, so think in terms of general ranking rather than Baez in particular.)

  • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

    We already know they’re idiots but price is not coming to the cubs whether they’re idiots or not.

  • Bilbo161

    I must admit that rotation sounds really good. I dont think now is the time maybe next off-season when our talent pool has advanced a bit. Right now it would cost too much.

  • John S.

    Assuming the Cubs sign Garza long term and with Shark, they have 2 #2s. I don’t see either as a true ace. At some point soon, we have to find one. Price is the guy. We have to give up whatever we have to to get him. Preference among our top 3 is Baez because I don’t think he is as likely to develop a higt level of plate discipline.

  • cubsnivy56

    a_mazz_ing
    April 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

    “David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson, and Mark Appel. Ok. Enough of that.”

    … I… umm… whaaa… woaahhhh…. uhhh… *faints*

    Ok, so whatever trades are not going to happen to get David Price, plug in another name and tell me this is not a rotation that will win games. We are not so far away as some will believe.

    Kyle I know this does not solve the offense, but pitching and defense does win games. Your thoughts?

    • Kyle

      “Pitching and defense wins games” is just a platitude. Offense is just disrupting the other team’s pitching and defense. They both matter.

      I don’t believe that the Cubs would pay both Garza and Price in the same offseason. It’d be a one or the other deal. And I still think we’re more likely to get Gray than Appel. Appel looks like he’s going to the Astros to me.

      But let’s imagine for a second that we did put together that rotation. With our current offense? .500 team, but set up very well for 2015.

  • YourResidentJag

    Why do I get the eerie feeling that if Price is made available during the deadline the Tigers will get him? For Costellanos, Smyly, Rondon, and Doug Fister. God, imagine that rotation regardless of whether Price signs an extension.

  • James

    I’m really shocked that everybody wants to trade one of the top prospects for Price. Heres an idea stay the course Let Price go somewhere else. How many times have the Cubs got burned by tradeing away prospects for guys that don’t seem to pan out. The Cubs have a ace in the Shark. The Cubs need hitting and thats why in this upcoming draft they will select a hitter again. If the Cubs trade all the farm system away like everybody wants then there is no long term hope this team.

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