david priceThe confluence of the playoffs, the impending hot stove season, the Cubs making their way into the national news (managerial search), and an ill-timed and laughably lame Twitter meltdown have David Price front in center on the rumor mill. And, when it comes to a possible David Price trade, the Cubs have never been too far behind in the mentions.

That’s not to say there isn’t any legitimacy to the latest rumor from Joel Sherman, who discusses the likelihood of a Price trade this offseason, and mentions the Cubs as a top potential suitor. That information came from anonymous baseball executives, with whom Sherman spoke about what could happen if Price were made available this offseason. The Rangers were the top team mentioned, for what it’s worth.

I would just preach caution before getting too invested in Price as a possibility. In April, Price seemed to make a fair bit more sense for the Cubs than he does today. For one thing, he still had another couple MPH on his fastball, and hadn’t missed a chunk in the middle of the year with an elbow issue. For another thing, we were projecting the Cubs to be a fair bit better in 2014 than they now project to be (obviously that’s subject to change), making a Price addition (two years away from free agency) more sensible. Finally, the Cubs’ prospect situation has changed – mostly for the better. But while a package involving, for example, Javier Baez may have made sense in April, it makes a lot less sense today. The Cubs love Albert Almora, Kris Bryant cannot be traded until next Summer, and Jorge Soler has a relatively pricey contract by Tampa Bay standards. Getting the right package together today just seems trickier.

Price is 28, and has two years of arbitration left. He’ll likely make something in the $13 to $14 million range next year, and then something in the $15 to $17 million range in 2014. Those are cost-savings over his market rate, to be sure, but not a steep discount. The arm issue makes you a little nervous, as does the drop in velocity. Price was plenty effective this year, though, and he’s not old. Tip-top arms are tough to find, and they’re worth paying for when you get a shot to lock one down before they’re 30.

For my part, I’d not like to see the Cubs go hard after Price unless (1) they plan to put together a solid team on paper going into 2014 (otherwise, you waste one of the two Price years you acquired); and (2) there is a very strong understanding that Price will sign an extension (preferably, a non-insane one). If the Cubs can’t lock up Jeff Samardzija two years before free agency and decide to shop him, why would they trade to get Price and put themselves in the same situation with him?

We’ll see if more significant rumors pop up after the season ends. You can expect that the Rays will put out feelers on Price, however. So it will be discussed.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Jeff started for 1 year before this. He threw over 200 innings. I think they may be likely to trade him, but it seems extreme to say he isn’t a top of the rotation starter. We as Cub fans seem to be so negative about our people who actually show some performance. His performance tailed off some, but he’s throwing more. He doesn’t have tremendous mileage on his arm.

    • jt

      2015 Shark will be 31, Wood will be 29, Johnson 24 and C.J. 23 y/o.
      Shark will be a FA in 2016 and Wood in 2017.
      If The Cubs could replace Shark with a pitcher as good as these guys but in the age range of 24-26 in 2015 they would then have a TOR foursome in 2015 and ’16 and at least a trio for a few years after that.
      I’d like to see them try to package such a multi-player deal.

    • Pat

      Samardzija’s last two years have an ERA+ of 107 and 91 respectively. That’s not really top of the rotation production. You’d like to see around 110-115 for a number two and 130 or more for an ace. Right now he’s probably a three based on production.

  • Stevie B

    The Garza trade gave us Rosscup and in the end, CJ Edwards. Zac will be a good piece in our pen and CJ has the makings of a #3 possibly # 2.

    I do that deal again, now that I penned it out.

  • Oswego Chris

    If u want Price…one of the big 4 has to be in deal

    If u want Cargo…one of the big 4 has to be in deal

    • cubes

      If u want Cargo…one of the big 4 has to be in deal

      not true. we can use MLB players, salary relief, along with lesser prospects to find equal value that would satisfy both clubs.

      given cargo’s injury history, splits, and contract I suspect few, if any, teams will give up top prospects for him… teams are reluctant to move there top prospects if ya haven’t noticed.

      • Oswego Chris

        What MLB players would the Rockies want?

        • DarthHater

          Schierholtz and Arrieta. Plus Vogelbach from the farm. 😛

          • jt

            you could at least toss in Vitters and BJax.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      That’s my assessment.

      we played that game:

      I’m Colorado’s GM: CJ Edwards, Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alcantara

      You think that’s a fair open?

      Or Maybe, Kyle Hendricks, Soler, and Alcantara???

    • http://ODU Greenroom

      I agree. But come on man, its not like you wrote a book about the Cubs, or something. :)

      • DarthHater

        I wrote book on the Cubs once. Lost my shirt.

  • Diamond Don

    Castillo, Josh Vitters, Dan Vogelbach and Arietta for Cargo. I would make this trade in a heart beat. Cargo is a great player. Gold glove too.

    • Voice of Reason

      I’m sure you would, but the rockies wouldn’t!!

  • Bill

    Castro for cargo

  • Bill

    I would love to see what bjax and Vitters could do just one more time before we give up on them I feel Sveum and co. really let these guys down.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      I agree on Vitters. He showed signs of life. I disagree on Bjax…he just doesn’t seem to have TWTW.

      I don’t see how Sveum let them down. Last I checked they both spent last year in the minors. I would blame their parents.

  • cub2014

    dejesus has looked good in the playoffs,
    i am sure he can be had for a pretty good
    hometown discount

    • bbmoney

      Rays have an option on him. Also doubt he’d give a team that traded him a discount.

      • cub2014

        I forgot the rays have an option
        on him. But if available I think he
        would come back at a reasonable

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I don’t think we need a guy who is good in the playoffs yet…we first need some guys who are good in the regular season so we can get to the playoffs. I though he was OK, but might be worth a flyer for cheap.

          • DarthHater

            At this point, I’d settle for some guys who are good ANYWHERE.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Also, how a guy looks in one post-season series has about zero predictive value for how he’ll do in the next: including the one 3 days later if his team wins a round.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              I agree mostly, but my sarcasm was pretty weak there.

    • Voice of Reason

      I’d rather they sign his wife to be a ball girl. She would bring in more fans than her mediocre playing husband.

  • cub2014

    what would it take to get Price
    and Longoria?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Price will be sold to the highest bidder: and once again, we’ll scratch our heads at that bid.

      Longoria is locked up on a multiyear deal has nearly a decade to go and that is reasonably team friendly (assuming that he does not pull get hurt a la Chavez or something). Unless the Rays are in desperate financial straights, Longoria is untouchable.

    • cub2014

      I was kidding about Longoria I said
      that after he jacked that 3 run homer
      No chance on him until 2020 and
      Cubs will have a couple WS rings by

  • David

    Rizzo sure would look good ad a Tampa Ray. Myers, Rizzo & Longoria as 3, 4 & 5 hitters???!!! Rizzo for Price – straight up??? Volgleburger coming soon… Bryant is also an option!!!

    • Andy

      Teams do not fair well trading with the Tampa Bay Rays. I like Pitching and I also think Rizzo is overrated, but do not trade with the Rays. They are smarter than us. Accept that and move on.

    • Voice of Reason

      Why would you trade for a pitcher who missed time this year with an elbow injury?

      And, when we trade for that pitcher who had arm trouble this year well have to sign him to a contract at around $19 million dollars a year for more than one or two years to keep him or lose him to free agency.

      Did I mention that he had arm trouble this year on his pitching arm?

      Why would you trade rizzo for that? I’m not saying rizzo is the next Gehrig or even the next grace. Rizzo might not be our first baseman in two years. I don’t care. I don’t want a starter who will cost mega mega bucks who has arm trouble.

      Come on man! Stop the stupid price talk!!

      • Jono

        The price is wrong, bitch! 😉

        • Jono

          Im sorry if you’re a lady. I kind of didn’t think of that. Until after I clicked submit

      • turn two

        voice of reason, if you honestly wouldn’t trade rizzo for price then change your tag name and stop over valuing our players. Price would cost a whole lot more than rizzo, doubt we could even find a package that gets accepted that includes him even as a lesser piece. They will want a stud, a near stud and some young pitching in his place. Not a struggling mid level first baseman just recently signed to a long deal.

  • Big Joe

    God help Theo, if he trades Baez. NOTHING he does afterward, or has done previously, will ever be remembered, if he does.
    He will be remembered as the guy that traded away Baez. Nothing more.

    • BWA

      Or the guy who got David Price for Baez the Bust. Could go either way.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      No one will care either way of he gets us 3 rings.

    • turn two

      We better not trade Corey patterson, felix pie or Gary Scott either for a legitimate ace heading into his prime.

  • Die hard

    What about trading Soler or Lake ?

    • BWA

      Soler is Untradeable to a team like the Rays. Lake has more value to us than anyone else.

  • Rebuilding

    If we trade any of the big 4 prospects + in a deal involving David Price (a 31yo with a TON of IP on his arm, elbow problems and a major drop in velocity+effectiveness) it will be the first time I’m really worried that Theo & Co are going to fail. That move would reek of desperation, short-sightedness, and abondonment of the plan they’ve been pursuing.

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