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david priceMore smoke on the Cubs-really-want-David-Price fire …

An anonymous GM told Jon Heyman that Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore “will be Tampa’s No. 1 starter once they trade [David] Price (to the Cubs or Rangers).”

Price, who has previously been connected to the Cubs, has two more years of arbitration left with the Rays after 2013, a season in which he’ll make $10.11 million. For that reason, everyone around the game believes the Rays will shop Price heavily after this season, understanding that they could get a huge haul for him, and that he’s going to be very expensive for the next two years. If the Rays do shop Price after the season, there is a 0% chance that the Cubs won’t at least be involved in those discussions.

It’s still so very early, but if you’re hoping the Cubs have a serious chance of landing Price, here are the things you want to hope for:

(1) The Rays stay in the race through July, and aren’t compelled to deal Price at the Trade Deadline. If they do shop Price in July, the Cubs are likely to be at a disadvantage when compared to other teams. That’s because, if the Cubs are themselves sellers, Price will not offer as much value to the Cubs as he would to a team going for the playoffs this year – to the Cubs, Price would be worth the 2014 and 2015 seasons, only; but to other teams, he also provides the value of a 2013 playoff push. That’s a huge difference. Thus, other teams will be willing to pay more for Price in July than would the Cubs, in all likelihood. Yes, the Cubs could still pony up, but we’re talking about what you should be hoping for. (Edit : And, yes, thanks to Butch in the comments for the note – if we’re hoping for things, we might as well hope the Cubs are in the race come July.)

(2) Price has a good, but not great 2013 season. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t want him to fall off of a cliff, but the better he pitches, the higher the price goes.

(3) The Rangers deal Jurickson Profar before Price is traded, or deal a player or two on the big league roster that open up an obvious long-term spot for Profar. If the bidding came down to the Cubs and Rangers, it seems pretty clear that Profar would be the difference maker in the negotiations – if the Rangers are willing to include him in a deal for Price, it’s game over for the Cubs. If he’s no longer on the Rangers, or is no longer a tradable piece, that’s good news for the Cubs.

(4) A bunch of Cubs prospects take huge leaps forward this year. Once again, this is pretty self-explanatory. A package for Price is necessarily going to require at least three or four of an organization’s top 10 prospects, and more than one of those prospects is going to be a top 100 overall type. If I’m the Rays, and everyone still looks good after this season, my demand starts with two of the Javier Baez/Jorge Soler/Albert Almora trio. And I’m probably asking for Dan Vogelbach and someone like Pierce Johnson, too. I’m not saying the Rays will get that, but that’s where the conversation starts.

Normally I don’t like to play the “let’s talk about trades six months in advance” game, but Price to the Cubs still does make as much sense as any other blockbuster of which you could conceive for the post-2013 offseason. He’s going to be on the block, the Cubs are going to be in the market for an ace, and the Cubs will theoretically have the prospects to make a deal.

That said, Price to several other teams makes as much sense as does Price to the Cubs. There’s only one Price to go around. Keep that in mind.

  • http://www.obstructedview.net Myles

    He’d be a bargain at any Price

    • Eric

      Wouldn’t “Ahhh, I’ll buy it at a high Price!” be a better pun?

  • Spencer

    I wonder if the anonymous GM is Jed Hoyer.

  • Butcher

    Shouldn’t we also hope the Cubs are in the playoff hunt come the trade deadline? You know…since we’re hoping for stuff?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Yes. By all means.

  • Bren

    I hesitate, then I remember all the names being bandied about for Brian Roberts and Jake Peavy several years ago and look what happened with all them

  • CityCub

    Well looks like I’m first lol, but I’m not sure I’d like the cubs to trade for DPrice. Knowing how much that Theo & Jed have rebuilt the farm system, to see 3/4 of them all go to the Rays(again) I’m not too sure about that. Yeah, he immediately changes any rotation that he falls into, but giving up Baez/Almora/Soler I’m not sure would be good on their end of it. I mean hell yeah I’d like to see Price in Cubbie Blue, but I don’t like what it’d take to get him here.

    • CityCub

      Lol just drop the “Im first” part off of that

      • JOE

        My thoughts are greatly along those lines, as well. Seeing Price in Cubbie Blue would certainly be exciting, but isn’t the whole point of Theo/Jed’s plan to build from the ground up? If two of Baez/Soler/Almora are traded for any one guy, our farm system takes several huge steps in the wrong direction. If the Cubbies can manage to get Price by only giving up one of these guys somehow, then yes, by all means consider it. Otherwise, I’d be against a deal that’s going to deplete the the farm system so significantly. Seems shortsighted, kinda like the old regime’s way of thinking.

        • JoeyCollins

          I think trades like these are completely in line with building from the ground up. The point of a strong farm system is to turn talent in the minors into talent on the field. If that means developing talent that one day plays for the Cubs, or trading for proven players, both have the same result. Theo has a history of trading his top draft choices, as long as we dont gut the entire farm and continue to draft well i have no problem pursuing these type of deals. That being said the thought of trading two of those top three does make me cringe a little.

  • Spencer

    On a serious note, I don’t think I would be comfortable with the Cubs doing that trade unless it came with an extension for Price.

    • http://www.obstructedview.net Myles

      That seems obvious, though. Any team that trades for Price would necessarily have an extension in place before the trade is done.

  • Section503

    i don’t want to see Price continue to struggle in 2013 and have the Cubs chase him (anyone concerned he peaked)… BUT his value drops to save the Cubs a prospect and he returns to form WHAT A DEAL.

    • Danny Ballgame

      My thoughts exactly

  • ncsujuri

    The Price is wrong BITCH!

  • MightyBear

    I wish everyone would quit assuming the Cubs will be sellers and out of the race. The Cubs are 4.5 games back in a division that doesn’t have a clear cut dominant team. They should have a better record than they do. The starting pitching has been outstanding and there is no reason to see a dramatic drop off especially with two solid starters coming back down the road. The bullpen seems to be sorting itself out. If they can get some consistent offense, the Cubs could win that division. Regardless if they do or not, they should still be in the race in July and should be willing to add to the team as long as it doesn’t affect the long term goal. Players on the block like Price and Headley fit all the criteria and are worth some of the precious prospects if you can get them and sign them to a long term deal.

  • Crockett

    Do the Cubs get any credit for the overpayment that Hendry made for Garza?

    No? Damnit.

    • Kyle

      Cubs got the better of that deal.

      • JulioZuleta

        Yeah, I’ve never understood the criticism on that one. I was never a huge Lee guy. And Guyer/Chirinos/Fuld were no more than filler for the Cubs. It was basically Lee and Archer for Garza and Fernandez (also filler). Not bad.

        • Alex

          The other pitching prospect the cubs received was rosscup, and he’s looking very good at the moment.

      • Noah

        It’s still way too early to me to tell who “won” that trade. And it also depends on: (1) if you’re looking at B-R’s or FG’s WAR calculation; (2) what Chris Archer and Hak Ju Lee do if/when they reach the majors; and (3) what do the Cubs do with Garza as time goes forward?

        B-R has Garza at 2.8 WAR in 2011 (which is what you’d expect from a 2/3 type) and 1.2 WAR in half a season in 2012 (what you’d expect from a decent 3). FG has Garza at 4.8 WAR in 2013 (what you’d expect from a very good 2, if not someone verging on ace status), and then a 1.1 WAR in half a season in 2012. So whose WAR you use greatly impacts what Garza has done.

        And then you have all the future questions, which we just don’t know the answer to. Will Archer be able to limit the walks enough to be a middle of the rotation MLB starter, or will he end up in a bullpen? Will Hak Ju Lee return from the knee injury with the same sort of defense and speed he featured to this point in his professional career? Even if he does return at 100%, will he ever hit enough to be anything more than Adam Everett? And what will Garza do in the future? If he’s traded, the return the Cubs get in the trade has to be considered in this balance. If the Cubs extend Garza, the equation gets a bit trickier. Garza’s flat out future performance should not be considered, but to the extent the Cubs would be able to get that performance at a discount, the discount will be a result of the Cubs having Garza already in the organization.

        Honestly, we probably won’t really know who won this trade until 2016 at the earliest.

      • UrbyJT

        I’ll take Chris Archer over Matt Garza.

        • J R

          Luckily none of the guys moved for Garza have proven to be studs, but yeah at this point I would gladly take Archer back straight up for Garza and not blink.

          • Noah

            That is an interesting point. If the Rays offered Chris Archer straight up for Matt Garza today, would you take it? I know some will say no, but he’s still a top 50 or 60 prospect in baseball, which is about as good as I’d expect for a half year of Garza. Of course, the trade wasn’t for an essentially MLB ready Chris Archer in exchange for a half year of Matt Garza, but it’s still an interesting point.

            • Justin

              Absolutely I would deal Garza in a heartbeat for Archer at this point. We still really have no idea if he can come back and pitch alright. And I would rather have Archer than a Compensation pick for sure..

              • JulioZuleta

                I think the Cubs could do better if Garza comes back and has 6-8 good starts before the deadline.

        • Kyle

          You shouldn’t.

    • Dynastyin2016

      The problem wasn’t what they gave up. The problem was Hendry thought Garza would make them a playoff team. Ha!

      • MichaelD

        Exactly. Tactically it seems like it was a good trade. Strategically it does not.

        • Timothy Scarbrough

          What?

  • Rich

    MightBear…I love your optimism…

    but Cubs WILL be sellers…they have no offense..
    I think Cinci wins the division easily.

  • Patrick G

    I know the Cubs need an ace quality pitcher, but taking out 2-3 top hitters that would be the “core” of players the team when competing kind of dismisses the whole rebuild. I’m all for Price and know that those guys could very possibly flame out, but our offense is rough now In the big leagues and trading top bats would kind of keep them in the same position.

    • CityCub

      Agreed. They’ve added alot to the minors in terms of positional players. And to give most of them up in a deal with the Rays for Price would kinda land the Cubs back in the same spot as befor, but with a true ace for the rotation.

      • hansman1982

        This is the reason the Cubs have been spending so much time and effort building a farm system, so they could go out and land the top flight guys they want.

        When you have the resources the Cubs have, prospects are just as much trade chips as future stars for your team.

        • Kyle

          That’s *one* of the reasons.

          The most important reason is that having cheap, awesome players is the best way to fill out your roster to begin with.

        • Justin

          Prospects are definitely trade chips if you are close. But by the time the Cubs will be ready to truly compete 2015/2016 Price will require MEGA bucks. I am talking like the biggest pitching contract by far in MLB history bucks. Why would the Cubs trade their best prospect for that?

    • The Dude Abides

      Two years ago that would have been Vitters & Jackson. Would you trade those two today for Price? Prospects come and go every year, very few pan out to be actual everyday players let alone someone like Price.

      • Patrick G

        Of course but those two weren’t what Our top 3 now are supposed to be. I guess my point is that it somewhat negates the purpose of the rebuild and have a “core” set of players. I am a Yankee fan as well and their farm system is atrocious and when injuries happen like this season, they have no fill ins because they traded their farm or just don’t focus on it. I admire this rebuild and have competitive players throughout the minors

        • On the Farm

          Um Vitters was the #3 pick in the draft and considered the best “pure hitter” when he was taken. Jackson was a “five tool player” How is Baez who has a “the fastest bat speed scouts have seen” and Almora one of the best CF prospect different from Vitters and Jackson, who were basically the same players 2/3 years ago?

          • Capitol Cubbie

            Theo and Jed drafted them!

            ITWT

            • Capitol Cubbie

              *#ITWT

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Theo and Jed did not draft Baez.

            • On the Farm

              Oh I forgot Theo doesn’t trade prospects that he has drafted to fill a need.

              Wait a minute he traded Rizzo and Kelly to get A-Gonz and he had an MVP season in the year they got him.

      • Dynastyin2017

        Can’t argue that most prospects don’t make it. But remember this, even though all prospects don’t become major league stars, all major league stars were once prospects. Good scouting, and honest evaluations of your own prospects, is the key.

      • ssckelley

        I have no problem with the Cubs trading away the top prospects, even if it meant 2 of the top 10 and a top 20 but it is what they are getting in return is the issue I have. Price would look awesome in the rotation but so has Jeff Samardzija. Last season and so far this season Samardzija has 34 starts, struck out 227 in 212 innings, with a 3.74 ERA, and has a 10-17 record to show for it. Seeing how bad the Cubs offense has been I can’t help but wonder how many more wins they would have with Price in the rotation.

        The Cubs are a lot more than a David Price away from being a playoff team, let a lone World Series.

  • Jp3

    Yeah I’m only game for this trade of trading away all out top prospects if Theo/Jed promise to SIGN free agents to fill other holes in the lineup. If we’re just going to sign players like Lillibridge and Haiston while we’re waiting for our farm to develop after we trade for Price then no thanks. I don’t want to start the rebuilding of the farm system again, apparently it’s a requirement to suck during that stretch.

  • Kyle

    Haven’t seen it before, still don’t see it.

    I get why it’s a fertile source for rumor. But I think it’s going to be very hard for either side to find a fit.

    David Price turns 28 in August. That means he turns 30 during the magic “ready to compete” year of 2015. We’d essentially have to pay full price for him twice, first in prospects and then in a massive contract extension that has him making $15m+ deep into his 30s. We’re working so hard to be efficient, this would be massively inefficient at least a year and maybe more before it makes sense to be that inefficient (if it ever does).

    For the Rays, I just don’t see how we have a fit. They are going to want near-ready impact position prospects, which is something this organization just does not have (and no, Baez and Soler and Almora aren’t going to get promoted a bunch of times in the next few months to fix that).

    I mean, if I work at it, I can come up with a plausible scenario where all these things are overcome. But occam’s razor applies, and “There’s just no fit here” is by far the more likely scenario to me.

    • TWC

      ““There’s just no fit here” is by far the more likely scenario to me.”

      And yet all the fanbase sees is “The Cubs Whiffed On Acquiring Price” headlines for the next several years.

    • Noah

      Of course, you run into the problem that Occam’s Razor is just a logical fallacy and isn’t in fact true.

      • frank

        Hi Noah–some comments on Occam’s Razor–just skip this if you don’t care to read the musings of a former Philosophy grad student . . .

        We also must remember that Occam’s Razor was never meant to be treated as an absolute in the first place–it was only meant to distinguish between theories which would produce the same result, and in very specified fields. William of Occam was a logician after all. And it was never meant to be used to distinguish between theories which would produce different results or predictions of results–in that case, it is merely a useful heuristic. Undoubtedly, there are many fields in which the answers are highly convoluted or complex–psychology comes to mind as a prime example. To say it is a fallacy is generally most correct when it is used in a manner in which it was never meant to be used.

        • Noah

          So in other words, if let’s say the following were true, and the goal was to find x, and I present two options that would correctly find x. Then Occam’s Razor says that

          x = ab + c
          is preferable to
          x = def + ghi – jkl/mno + p

          Is that accurate?

          • Cubbie Blues

            I’d take option 3; x = \ + /

        • Kyle

          In this case, the argument isn’t “X is better because Occam’s Razor is a universal truth.”

          It’s “X is pretty much already in place, while Y requires a lot of moving parts in terms of things that may or may not happen actually happening, so X is far more likely.”

          “Occam’s Razor” is just a useful shorthand.

    • Patrick W.

      I think Kyle is right, if we look at it solely through the lens of where the organization is now and likely to be at the trade deadline this year. It is theoretically possible that the Cubs pick up a prospect or two through numerous trades in July that can be added to a package the Rays might want after the season.

      • Noah

        Here’s the problem with Kyle’s scenario: it’s that you need another willing participant who is giving up these very close to MLB ready prospects (and since both Baez and Soler will be in Double A by year’s end, he’s reading that as ready for the Majors in June 2014). This is the problem: name the teams with a bunch of high end, MLB ready prospects who are going to trade those prospects for David Price.

        Now, these are the easier facts: if the Rangers or Cardinals focus in on getting Price and are willing to trade Jurickson Profar or Oscar Taveras as the headliner in a multi-prospect deal, then the Cubs flat out cannot beat those offers. But the primary indications that I’ve seen are that the Rangers would prefer to trade for Stanton, and Profar would have to be included in that trade, and that the Cardinals are not looking to move Taveras for more expensive pitching.

        Once you get past those two teams, you’re really running low on the organizations that can throw high ceiling, near MLB ready talent into a trade, especially considering that the Rays are very unlikely to trade Price in the division (eliminating trades based around Bogaerts or Bundy). Seattle isn’t going to trade Mike Zunino for Price (if anything they’ll trade pitching for hitting).

        The issue isn’t that the Cubs are SUCH a great match for the Rays. The question is how many teams are better matches, and will those teams be looking to add a big money pitcher in return for the prospects they have?

        • Kyle

          Take the field against the one. The possibility that there isn’t another obvious fit besides the two you mentioned doesn’t invalidate that the Cubs aren’t a good fit either.

          Some other teams I could see making the move off the top of my head: Reds, Red Sox, Indians.

          • Noah

            Reds farm system is tapped out aside for Billy Hamilton, who is a big risk due to only having one elite tool, and why would they add a pitcher who they won’t be able to afford in a couple of years when their rotation is already their strength (and young) and the real concern is offense?

            As I said, all indications are that the Rays would demand vastly more from any in division team, so not only would the trade have to be headed up by Bogaerts, but a TON more would have to be on top of that.

            Cleveland only has one truly elite prospect in Francisco Lindor, especially now that the shine is off Trevor Bauer. And Lindor is at the exact same level as Baez and Soler.

            Of those three teams, only the Red Sox could beat a package of prospects put together by the Cubs. The question would be by how much would that package have to beat the one from the Cubs for the Rays to trade Price in the division.

            And of course you should take the field over the Cubs getting Price. Let’s say there are 1/3 odds of the Rangers deciding to focus on getting Price instead of Stanton, and 1/5 odds the Cardinals decide they are willing to headline a package with Taveras. Well, you’re already at 53%. If I had to ballpark it at this point (I reserve all rights to be Bayesian and refine these numbers as the weeks and months go on), I’d bet that the odds are about 1/3 Rangers, 1/3 Cubs, 1/5 Cardinals, and the remaining 11% to the rest of the field.

            Also, there is the point that you made that might be correct: maybe a move like trading prospects for Price next offseason just isn’t a part of the front office’s plan.

            • Noah

              And actually, I’ll give you one team that COULD be a big riser in my odds by the end of the year: the Phillies. The Phillies have money, are willing to spend money, have a GM who doesn’t believe in rebuilding and loves to accumulate stars, and if they do sell and trade Cliff Lee could have enough to really make a good trade offer for Price.

            • Kyle

              Reds farm system isn’t as tapped out as Cubs fans like to think, and Billy Hamilton is exactly the kind of player who can headline a deal like this. And they can afford more than people seem to think, as well.

              1/3rd Cubs is *way* too high. There’s no reason they don’t belong in the field, afaik, and not split out into their own odds. I didn’t just mean the Cubs vs. the field as a whole. I meant I’d pull out the obvious teams like the Rangers and Cardinals and I’d still consider the remaining Field ahead of the Cubs.

        • JulioZuleta

          People need to understand in the Price/Stanton speculation…Jorge Soler is not as valuable to the Rays and Marlins because he is paid $3+M a year. The potential Price/Stanton trades are both, in part, intended to be salary dumps.

          • Justin

            Right, I really don’t know if Soler has much if any trade value at all. He’s a prospect making a ton of money, obviously because of the new CBA rules coming in. Part of the allure of prospects is they’re cheap as hell, and Soler is not at all. Plus he’s still pretty risky like most top prosects. The Rays would want no part of him, unless he tore it up in the majors.

    • Justin

      Yeah dealing all the decent prospects in the system for Price doesn’t make much sense. As much as I hate to admit it the 2014 Cubs are not going to be very good even with Price, at least offensively. It would be completely counter intuitive to everything Theo has done thus far.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Kyle, this is way too rational for most Cub fans.

    • jt

      That is a good argument against the trade and one in which I’m inclined to agree.
      It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out but my guess is the you have it right.

  • When the Music’s Over

    If the Cubs are going to deal 2 of Baez, Soler and Almora, their outfield situation suddenly looks pretty bleak. I really hope they would be able to swing some of the middle infield depth for an OF’er or sign a big free agent (some people will loathe that idea).

    That said, if the Cubs snag one of Appel or Gray and sign Shark long term, do they need to invest another ~$20M a year (or 20% of their current max team payroll-i joke, i joke) on Price? Is that the best use of their potentially semi-limited funds?

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Penciling in Soler and Almora into the OF situation is a bit premature. The OF situation without these guys will be the same as it is today.

      • When the Music’s Over

        Yes, I agree. I wasn’t suggesting they were shoe-ins. More so that if you take them away, there’s no one to even pretend to pencil into the OF. Jackson, Ha and Szczur move into those roles, and the combo of that trio ain’t going to cut it.

  • J R

    Brett, what do you think it would take to extend Price? $200 million bucks? I could see it in today’s pitching market. It seems everything the front office worked for would go away when trading for Price. The Cubs farm system would take a huge step back and they would be paying Price a huge amount of coin. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t do it because you have to make a move at some pt, but just a lot to consider..

  • Rich

    can someone tell me why it is needed to get this guy ?

    we can use our prospects for players, but is he worth the 2 or 3 players ?
    and with the draft of Appel or Gray ( we should have a strong pitching staff ) in a few years..

    dont we need more bats ?

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      It’s easier to get bats than it is to get a 28 year old that’s already won the Cy.

  • mudge

    How much difference is there between Price and Garza?

    • Patrick W.

      Six, Six and half.

    • Dynastyin2017

      Huge difference between Price and Garza. Both with their stuff and their athleticism. Plus Garza now has an injury stigma.

    • Kyle

      If both are healthy, 2 wins a year. Not as much as you’d think.

      Of course, Garza isn’t healthy and you can’t ever count on him being healthy again.

  • OlderStyle

    sign all the pitchers!!!
    but seriously, why gut the farm for an ace when we don’t have the surplus yet, nor the MLB roster talent to capitalize? Or plop down a $200 mill contract in 2015 when we’re just starting to see light at the end of the stadium refurb, debt servicing tunnel?
    No, sir, I don’t see it.

  • MightyBear

    Another Occam’s razor comment. I love those but I think you’re stealing the Doc’s thunder.

  • Justin

    I would say the Rangers have to be the HEAVY favorites for Price. They just gave Andrus over $100 million (i hate that deal). And if they move Kinsler to first that absolutely knocks his value down a ton. So them flipping Profar in a deal for Price would make a ton of sense. I actually don’t think it would take much more than Profar either. Profar’s about as can’t miss as a prospect can get…

    • mjhurdle

      the word from the few Ranger fans i know say s they are much more interested in landing Stanton than Price. They like their pitching situation right now, but are desperate for a big bat.
      Who knows what will happen, but i get the feeling Texas will exhaust all possibilities to get Stanton before exploring a Price deal

      • Justin

        They should have moved Andrus for J. Upton when they had the shot. I would rather the Cubs traded their top prospects for Stanton too. Although, Stanton seems like he always has some type of nagging injury. I’m not sure he would age well…

  • EricR

    The thought of trading two of the three of Baez/Soler/Almora just makes me a bit sick to my stomach. I get that prospects flame out, prospects come and go, etc. But wow, that is a ton of minor league talent for a guy we may not have two years later.

    • Justin

      The Cubs would have Price past those 2 years. They would just be paying him $25 mill a year into his late 30’s… No way they lose him after giving up that much.

  • Chad

    Price= proven ace
    Prospects= prospects

    Baez or Soler could be the next Gary Sheffield, or they could be the next Felix Pie. I don’t like to see prospects go either, but heck they’re not a guarantee.

    Obviously neither is Price, but he’s much more proven. If it’s Baez and Almora etc. I’m good with it. Much easier to sign some prospects than to sign an ace

    • Kyle

      I don’t have a problem trading prospects for a guy like David Price.

      I have a problem trading prospects essentially for the privilege of giving David Price his massive FA contract extension.

      • DarthHater

        Okay. And if the market develops in such a way that players of Price’s quality aren’t reaching free agency with any regularity, then how are you going to get such a player?

        • Kyle

          Develop them yourself.

          • Chad

            That is obviously easier said than done and if the cubs had the next ace in the fold we wouldn’t be talking about it. But if the cubs can trade a few prospects that they are developing (may never develop) for 2 years + an extension on that guy (which to me is the same as developing him without the chance he might not develop or fall apart in the minors) why not do it.

            All I see is that you are ok if the cubs were to trade for David Price when he had 4 years left on his rookie contract but don’t want to extend him. Well yeah who wouldn’t want that. This is the market we live in. If you want to sign an ace this is the way you will have to do it.

            • Kyle

              If that’s the choice, then I’m comfortable going forward without an ace.

          • DarthHater

            But growing your own stars is a major crapshoot, right? I thought you favored trying to trade for a guy like Stanton. Wouldn’t we just be giving up prospects for the privilege of giving Stanton a massive extension? Should we avoid that trade, too? Or is it just Price you don’t like?

            • Jp3

              Darth, you didn’t see my developing pitchers method?

              • Cubbie Blues

                I did and full-heartily on that train.

            • Kyle

              It’s a total crapshoot. But so is paying $200m or whatever for the age 28-36 seasons of a pitcher. Stanton would be different because he’s five years younger and not a pitcher.

              • Kyle

                Oh, and more valuable.

                He’s 5 years younger, not a pitcher, and more valuable than David Price.

                • hansman1982

                  Unless you’re concerned about his BB and K rates.

                • DarthHater

                  Okay, I figured that what was what you meant. Just checking. ;-)

        • Jp3

          1)You draft someone like a Pierce Johnson
          2) get him on a major league workout program
          3) give him proper doses of Belly Fire DAILY
          4) presto! You have David Price/Justin verlander type ace

      • Justin

        Exactly, obviously if Price was on his rookie contract making 500k like Baez, Almora, and Vogelbach it’s an absolute no brainer for the Cubs to deal for Price. Price is about to cost $25 million a year AND cost the Cubs their top prospects. Is he still worth it then? Maybe, I guess.. I don’t see it though. BTW, the Rays wouldn’t touch Soler because of his contract either..

  • cubsin

    I think this winter would be at least one year too early to give up several of our best prospects for a Price or a Stanton. Trades like that make sense only when your team is already competitive, and you’re trying to blow away the competition.

    • Cubbie Blues

      You also can only get players like Price when they are available and they don’t become available very often. It’s one reason why an injury risk like Garza still has a lot of value.

  • Mat B.

    Didn’t we already overpay for a Tampa “stud” starting pitcher?

    • Chad

      If Garza had pitched like he had the potential and wasn’t injured you wouldn’t think that at all. Who did the cubs really give up? Sam Fuld, Chrinos, Archer, Lee? I mean those were some really good prospects but none have done much for the Rays. If Garza had pitched like he did in Tampa we would have thought it was the best deal ever for the cubbies. Now obviously it could be completely different for Price, who could get injured, and the cubs give the rays 3 future hall of famers, but you never know. Could go either way. And to answer your question, no the cubs didn’t over pay.

      • Mat B.

        We’ll agree to disagree on that. Archer can still have an impact as can Lee. Fuld had a nice impact his first season there. Without him, they would have been dead in the water after Ramirez was caught cheating, and at the time, Snyder had just come off a season that he had been named Cubs minor league player of the year. Also, I don’t think Garza ever had the impact in Tampa that most people think he did. I would have to check, but I think he only had one good year.

        • Chad

          So Snyder had a good minor league year for the cubs, Fuld was a good 4th outfielder, Archer and Lee still have potential and Chirinos is no longer even with them and never really contributed. So what you are saying is Fuld who wouldn’t have contributed with the cubs due to depth was ok for them one year as a sub and Archer could be our 5th starter (maybe) and Lee would still be behind Castro and Barney. But that is not worth a really good year from Garza and what could have been if he would have stayed healthy nobody knows. I’m not saying the Garza deal turned out great for the cubs, but I’m not seeing them as having overpayed or wasted their farm system in the deal either.

          • Mat B.

            Again, we can disagree. I’d love to see Garza rejoin the team this year and prove me wrong. I don’t see it happening, but I’d love to see it.

        • Mat B.

          In 2010 Garza went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA, a WHIP of 1.25 and a 2.4 K to W ratio. That would be great if you knew he had a track record of being able to do that over a period of 2-3 years. He didn’t have that track record, and he still doesn’t, and I don’t think he ever will.

          • Chad

            That’s fine, but at the time how do you know that. Would you rather the cubs say no thanks, and have a bunch of pretty good minor leaguers and maybe 1 or 2 that make the majors and then have Price be a multiple Cy Young award winner and say oh well at least we kept those prospects. 1 in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.

            Again, I’m not saying the Garza deal was great for the cubs, but in no means was it a great deal for the rays. I still don’t consider it over paying and never will.

            • Chad

              Also, Price is not Garza and this deal would be much different and the track record is much different as well.

              • Mat B.

                You are quite right. Price’s track record is much more valid. I’m just leery of trading a bunch of prospects for someone else’s “stud” pitcher.

                • Chad

                  I understand. Also I don’t think Garza was ever considered the Ray’s ace either, just to clarify. The thing that scares me is if we keep all these prospects and they don’t pan out (ala corey patterson, felix pie, vitters, jackson etc etc). If the cubs make the trade great (I like it), if not ok, I wish we had Price, but hey you never know what opportunities for trades come in a year or two or FA do become available. I trust Theo to do what is right. Then I just hope the cubs can develop some players (finally)

  • baseballet

    After Theo’s revelation that the middling payrolls we’ve seen are all that we can expect until some unspecified point in the future, I don’t have any grasp on what the timeline is for the Cubs to be able to spend with the big boys. It’s hard to decide if dealing multiple top prospects for one pitcher makes sense unless one knows what the budget will be.

    There are so many holes to fill in the lineup before adding an ace would create a real WS contender. It wouldn’t make sense to deal our minor league stars who would ostensibly fill those positional holes unless the Cubs could afford to fill some of them through free agency. Price would be nice, but who’s playing the three outfield spots and third base? The Cubs are going to need a couple All Star caliber players among those positions in order to be a real contender.

    • Chad

      yeah because the Giants have superstars all over the field to go with their average rotation.

      • baseballet

        The Cubs have a lot of holes to fill before they’re anything close to the Giants.

        • Chad

          No arguments here, but one of the holes would be a true ace, would it not? You can put 3 superstars in the OF if you want, but if you have an average pitching staff that won’t get you that far IMO. Need to get both yes, but can’t just ignore one of the best pitchers in the game if you have the chance to get him.

          • hansman1982

            If I had to choose between acquiring age 20 Justin Verlander or Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Jason Heyward right now, I would take Harper, Trout and Heyward every time.

            • Chad

              Are the cubs going to develop the next Harper, Trout, and Heyward? I don’t know, but they could get Price. That’s all I’m saying. yeah it would be great to get those guys but that aint going to happen. Unless you want a rotation of Wood, Rusin, Raley, Feldman, and Baker (with half his arm). Expensive players.

  • Nmints

    I completely understand the hesitation on giving up so much for Price. However where are all of the fans who were complaining during our last postseason appearance about not having a true ace? This type of move isn’t necessarily made for the regular season, where some of you are right, we may only get 3-5 more wins out of a pitcher. However during the postseason (assuming we make it there) we have a legitimate number one pitcher, something that the cubs have really never had the luxury of. Combine Price with the likes of Shark, Gray or Appel, and possibly Garza…that is one hell of a rotation for the next 5-7 years!

    • Chad

      I think Jackson benefits hugely from having those guys ahead of him as well and Travis Wood should not be forgotten as another lefty.

  • David

    Make the deal. Price, Shark, Grey or Appel & Garza (sign him) as a starting 2015 rotation sounds fascinating. Starting pitching wins championships. Put a large portion of the payroll in starting pitching.

  • David

    Its also about developing players. We have to have confidence in developing a position player or two that will be an impact player by 2014 or 2015. Combine those one or two players with Rizzo/ Castro and one more free agent you may have an “acceptable” offense with a dominating starting rotation.

  • RonSantosLegs

    I would love to have David Price but the Cubs don’t have a surplus of prospects for this to be realistic. If we traded 3-4 of our best prospects, our system would be completely gutted. We would go right back to having one of the worst farm systems in the league. That makes no sense when it comes to a rebuild.

    Having David Price on the roster would be great but it doesn’t make a bit of difference when we are offensively challenged. We aren’t anywhere near competing….with or without David Price. You just cannot trade 3-4 core prospects in the middle of a rebuild. Not when the Cubs don’t have a surplus of elite talent. Price would be 30-31 years old by the time we are maybe MAYBE competing.

    I just don’t see it.

    • Nmints

      I understand your thinking here and part of me agrees with you. But my question is, is it better to put all of your faith as a fan or gm into prospects that may or may not pan out to be good? Obviously we all have hope that Almora, Baez, and Soler turn out to be all-stars…but what if they don’t? Then not only do you miss out on the ace you could of had in Price, but then also the prospects you counted on to turn the team around diminish to nothing but a what could have been. I would rather take my chances with Price, build a solid rotation, build around Castro, Rizzo, and one of the big three prospects (assuming 2 are traded to get price) and sign and draft from there.

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