David Price is an awesome pitcher, and is potentially going to be available this week. The Cubs need awesome pitchers going forward, and they’ve got the pieces to trade for just about any player in baseball.
But Price, this week, makes absolutely no sense for the Cubs, and I’ve said as much repeatedly, and wrote about it at length here, when Ken Rosenthal stirred the pot (he mentioned it again today). While Price could conceivably make sense for the Cubs after this season, trading for him now – and paying a premium price for the 2014 playoff push value the Cubs can’t use – would be foolish and wasteful. I was confident that the Cubs weren’t about to start acting foolish and wasteful.
I’m not going to say I told you so, in part because most of you agreed, and in part because “I told you so”s are lame. I also don’t want to act like one source is the be-all, end-all of knowledge on an issue merely because his report aligns with what I’ve said. But, I do think it’s important to pass this on from Bob Nightengale:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 28, 2014
Exactly. There’s just no sense whatsoever in the Cubs giving up whatever trade surplus they might have right now for a piece they can’t use. Right now.
I have been following the Rays’ progress this month with rapt attention, in part because of their impact on the market at the deadline, but also in part because, if they keep winning – they’ve won 9 of 10, and stand 7.5 back in the AL East and 4.5 back in the Wild Card – and decide to hang onto Price, the chances he’s dealt in the offseason improve dramatically. There’s virtually no chance the Rays would go into 2015 with Price on the roster at nearly $20 million in salary in his walk year.
And, should they elect to deal Price at that time, it could be very interesting for the Cubs, who could use a top-line pitcher, who will have the resources to take on Price’s salary, and who will have the assets to deal without blowing up the farm. Further, given that it’s just one year of Price at a salary that’s bordering on what he’d make in free agency anyway, I’m fairly convinced that the price in trade wouldn’t be as onerous as some think. (And, if 2015 looks like it isn’t working out by midseason, you could recoup most of the value given up to get Price in a deadline deal. You certainly don’t plan on that happening, but it’s a nice in-case-of-emergency-break-glass.)
For now, though – for now (have I emphasized that enough?) – trading for Price makes no sense, and I’m glad to hear that the Cubs agree.