SocraticGadfly: #Cardinals a suitor for David Price? Let's start some talk with the #Rays (updated)

June 04, 2014

#Cardinals a suitor for David Price? Let's start some talk with the #Rays (updated)

I first blogged during spring training about the idea of the St. Louis Cardinals making a deal to land Tampa's lefty ace, David Price. I'm going to revive and update that now, since we now see more of where the Cardinals are at, knowing that the Rays are out of the AL East running, and knowing what the Cards look like in the minors.

Sidebar: Ken Rosenthal has a great new notes column. But, Ken, no thanks on James Shields, unless the trade price is cheap, since he's a free agent after this year. And, he's a few years older than Price, too. I'd offer the Royals no more than 50 cents on the trade dollar as compared to Price.

With Price? If the Cardinals can't sign Price to an Adam Wainwright-level extension (maybe $1M or so a year more, if Waino gets the same), since he's not a free agent until after 2015, the team can always make the qualifying offer and get the draft choice back.

The Cards' offer back starts with what I suggested in March. Either Lance Lynn or Shelby Miller, plus an outfielder not named Oscar Taveras. (I'd offer Jon Jay first, Peter Bourjos second, I think, then Stephen Piscotty third. If Tampa asks about Randal Grichuk, then I think a bit more.) I'd throw in Greg Garcia, as Tampa can use him to replace Ben Zobrist, whom I assume they'll not resign after this year.  I really think that he could be key to fueling a deal. (As I blogged here, the increasing use of infield defensive shifts by other teams, catching up with the pioneering Rays, probably explains why the defensive rating of Zobrist, and other Rays infielders, has declined this year, or at least, it is a serious part of such an explanation.) Given where Tampa is at on contracts and age and costs at both corner OF spots and 1B, I don't see them wanting Allen Craig.

I would consider Alexander Reyes as a part of any deal. I would NOT consider Marco Gonzales. He's moved a lot further up the ranks, shown a lot more actuality, not just potential, at least at his various minors levels, and, he's a lefty. As for minors position players, Aledmys Diaz, like Gonzales, is not for sale on this deal.

If a back-of-rotation majors pitcher, like a Joe Kelly or Tyler Lyons, further lubricates such a trade, OK.

Now, from a Cards' point of view, if it's either Lynn or Miller, which do you give up? Miller's got more upside touting, but, he's regressed from last year. At the same time, he's further away from arbitration, which makes him more appealing to the Rays.

Regular readers here know I'm no Lynn fan, but, if keeping him for another year is part of the price of Price, then that's what it is, and I'm less of an anti-fan than I was a year ago.

Oh, and Cards fans? Per discussion I'm running into on MLB Trade Rumors, I hope you're not acting like fans of other teams who follow prospects in general, and acting like the "junior general managers" that John Mozeliak has called out, and insisting that Taveras is a center fielder. 

Update, June 23: With not one but two Cards pitchers (above and beyond Joe Kelly) now moved to the DL, I think Price trade talks by the Cards will be on hold a bit, especially if Tampa wants two pitchers back in the deal. 

At the same time, per my first comment to Tyler in comments, Price IS getting moved. And, per the teams listed by a local columnist, it's, relatively speaking, a buyer's market, not a seller's one.
It has become increasingly obvious that the Rays likely — if not absolutely, positively — are going to trade Price over the next 51/2 weeks until the July 31 deadline. They can't afford to keep him long term. They're not going to win with him this year (the thought that they would was part of the reason he wasn't dealt over the winter). And every five days they wait to trade him reduces his value because that means one fewer start he makes for his new team.
So, there you go, Mr. Rhodes, and others who think I'm proposing a lowball offer. Just as I said, so says Marc Topkin. And, if you'll look at what he mentions as possible deals with non-Cardinal teams, you'll see that what I mentioned, especially in the second paragraph of players, where I expand beyond my initial list, is in no way a lowball offer.

In fact, let's take a look at these:
Angels: 1B C.J. Cron, 2B Alex Yarbrough
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Alberto Tirado
White Sox: 2B Micah Johnson, RHP Erik Johnson, RHP Chris Beck
Yankees: C Gary Sanchez, RHP Luis Severino, C Peter O'Brien
Braves: LHP Alex Wood, RHP Lucas Sims, additional pitching prospect
And, let's analyze.

Angels? A decent prospect 2B plus a just called-up 1B/DH when Rays 1B James Loney is under contract for two more full seasons and primary DH David DeJesus is signed for one more full year plus a team option.

Jays? Two prospect pitchers, one of whom, Sanchez, may, or may not, be ready for the big top in 2015, and the other who may, or may not, be ready a year later.

ChiSox? Micah Johnson is a cut below Yarbrough of the Angels system. Erik Johnson? OK in the minors, unimpressive two years straight at the big show. Beck? Still a AA prospect.

Yankees? Sanchez could be OK at catcher. Severino? Unknown quality prospect at low minors. O'Brien? Has power, but, why would you trade for two catchers? For that matter, Mr. Topkin, given the Yankees' strapped farm system, why would they trade away two catchers? Plus, the idea that the Rays would trade in-division is iffy, so just nix this one.

Braves? Alex Wood has some potential. Call him a younger Shelby Miller, or younger Lance Lynn. Lucas Sims? Low-minors prospect. If Topkin thinks the Braves would throw in a third pitcher, but he doesn't even have a name to offer, that's weak tea indeed.

None of these is better than what I suggested the Cardinals offer. If Cron is the real verschnizzle with the Angels, it's the only one in the same ballpark.

So, Mr. Rhodes, and you others who think I'm a homer, a lowballer, or baseball ignorant, both now and in a follow-up post which I will do, if you think my suggested Cardinals offer for Price is being a "homer," I suggest you get a freaking clue. Because Cards fans think my final-offer version might be an overpay.

So, again, I suggest a reality check. Or a read of the Tampa Bay Times.

Because, at least at NBC, there's a couple of you that are FAR more "homer" than any Cards fan I've met there.

And, the more time I spend at NBC, gthe 


Unknown said...

Teams cant make qualifying offers mid-season

Gadfly said...

I know that.

My point is that because Shields is a free agent after this season, the Cards couldn't give him a QO at all, if they traded for him ... at the end of the season. I know when QOs are made.

The point is, because Shields is a free agent after this season, the Cards, or any other team, can't put a QO stamp on his head if they can't come to terms.

But, because Price has another full year left after this year, they CAN with him.

Unknown said...

What a joke trade offer for Price. Why would the Rays have any interest in a MLB outfielder. We have Kevin Kiermier who looks ready to take over an everyday roll in CF and you know that Will Myers guy. That leaves Desmond Jennings who isn't going anywher because we have an odd obsession with talented underachieving outfielders I.E. Crawford early on and BJ Upton and that still leaves David DeJesus and Mike Mahtook killing it at triple AAA. And this is assuming Joyce is traded. I doubt a backup outfielder is
going to be second major piece in a Price trade. Miller has been shaky and Craig and Adams are not a fit. Miller + Marco would be the starting piece. Honestly it is unrealistic though because of the fact the Cardinals do not need Price. Also only insulting every Rays fan ever is even considering the Rays wouldn't pick up Ben Zobrists team option. Zobrist embodies the Rays and is everything they could ever want out of him. Picking up his team option is as much as a no brainer as not letting Matt Joyce hit against lefties. The whole concept of MLB ready talent for price is a wash unless it is a player like Shelby or the Dodgers Joc Pederson who could be a star from day 1. The rays have enough Joe Kellys and Tyler Lyons in our farm system. This article does seem like a Homer article. You should do some research into the Rays system/roster before making offers. The bottom line is Miller + Marco + Reyes would be needed to get Price. Not comfortable with that offer? Well neither would the Cards most likely which is why it makes this trade non-viable.

Gadfly said...

I already answered this (and presumably you, as the comment looks almost exactly the same) on NBC, Tyler.

First, I said either Lynn or Miller on the pitching. Second, I said either Jay or Bourjos on the OF. Third, I said Reyes could well be included. I also mentioned Greg Garcia.

You need a reality check yourself.

First, the Cards are NOT trading Marco Gonzales, period and end of story.

Nor is ANYBODY trading three pitchers to get one. Period and end of story. Gonzales + Reyes + Miller is going nowhere; not just the Cards, but the equivalent three pitchers from some other team.

Second, the clock is ticking on the Rays and Price, and if YOU will stop being a homer, you'll admit that the closer he gets to free agency, the less the offers get in trade.

Third, as for Zobrist, I didn't say it was definite the Rays wouldn't pick up his option, or totally likely. I said that they'd probably try to roll it into a two-year new contract. I also said that 2B is a position where players age relatively early.

Please don't tell me you think he's worth 4/75, like one person on NBC said.

Unknown said...

Again as I said I highly doubt he goes to the Cardinals if you had bothered to read that part. As much as I was knocking the trade offer I at least acknowledged that the plausibility is low because the Cardinals have no reason to deal Marco for him because they do not need Price. The Rays think long term and if they do not get an offer that blows them away what is stopping them from holding on to Price until this offseason when a new wave of suitors might enter. Yes, of course his value is more than likely peaking right now but the Rays are not trading Price just to trade Price. They did not trade Kazmir just for the hell of it. They dealt him for someone who appeared to be on the fast track to late inning relief (Alex Torres, now on the Padres, still pitching sub 2.5 ball) and Sean Rodriguez. They didn't deal Garza to deal Garza. They got an ace potential back in Chris Archer (Yes Juries out on him but since struggling his first five games he's pitch 3.05 ball) and Zobrists replacement in Hak-Ju Lee who was well regarded before a ACL tear. And Sam Fuld (as a Rays fan I have to mention him). And Bad Luck Brandon Guyer who looks to have a future in the Rays outfield. A trade for Price will always be there. However, the Cardinals are one of the smartest franchises in baseball and they will not give up Marco for him WHICH I SAID in my previous post that you neglected to read thoroughly. And I said Jay or Bourjous make no sense given the Rays glutton of subpar MLB bats / potential youngsters coming up. The Cardinals are SMART enough to not give up my proposed package. That is why I see him going to a bolder, riskier Franchise such as the Dodgers or Giants. Maybe instead of getting offended you should see that I was praising how the Cardinals run there franchise more than knocking there players. Miller + Reyes is nice but the Rays would need another plus pitcher to move Price without acquiring a bat because outside of Curt Casali (C), Hak-Ju-Lee (SS/2B), and Mahtook (OF) there are not quality bats anywhere close to MLB ready. A younger bat would probably be needed such as Piscotty or Ramsey. It would be hardpressed for me to believe the Rays would deal Price. Miller/Lynn + Piscotty/Ramsey + Reyes would be the max deal I could see the Cards offer. There is no reason for them to offer more. I think it would be smarter if they just get Miller though and let him learn of Adam Wainwright some more. He has ace potential he is just young.

Sorry If I came off offensive or obnoxious it is just as a Rays fan the only thing harder than seeing Price leave would be seeing Zobrist leave so I get antsy on the subject.

An offer from the Dodgers who like adding big names of Joc Pederson/Cory Seager + Zach Lee seems to beat most of the offers the Cardinals would offer within reason. If I was you I'd not be rooting for a Price trade because I wouldn't want to even think about Marco getting moved. I will say this I WOULD NOT TRADE Miller + Reyes + Marco for Price. I am just saying it is a realistic trading point. The Cardinals give up to much there.

I have a second comment.

Unknown said...

Hell if the Cardinals were going all in why not shock the world and pull of a Zobrist/Price and get both. Zobrist can spell Wong if he slumps and Zobrist can play anywhere besides catcher. I'd want this more or less so I could tune in to see Price and Zobrist still on the same team :p.

And lastly I would not want Lance Lynn personally. Not a fan. Not the guy from NBC just saying. And also I probably value Reyes less than you. I feel being yes he has high potential, arguably the highest in STL system right now but his control makes you wonder if he'll ever get it together. He has two plus pitches right now but the Rays already have a similar prospect Enny Romero in their system. Enny hits 100 miles occasionally but even less occasionally hits the strikezone. And Alex Colome is similar as well (while he might get first crack to take Price's spot because I have lost some faith in Jeremy Hellickson). This leads me to wonder if they would be comfortable acquiring another one.

Unknown said...

I would disregard everything that guy on NBC said after reading his comments. As soon as I read he thought Price was worth Cory Seager, Joc Pederson, and Julio Urias thats when you know he is insane. Maybe if we traded Price and Chris Archer. I see Price worth maybe two top 100's and another probably top 10 prospect within the organization.. However keep in mind that there are people like Marco who are just to young to break the top 100. Also as soon as you start off with untouchables at the minor league level that is when you know you will run into trouble in trades. I consider Taveras at the MLB level there is just no room for him so I am fine with him being untouchable.

andywilliamsflorida said...

You delete comments you don't want to be seen or what? Every comment here is you responding to a non-existing comment. You show up to hardballtalk, tell everybody to read to your blog, then don't like the responses you get, so you delete the comments, but leave your responses? Journastic integrity running amok here huh?

Jeff Samardzija was just traded for the #5 overall prospect in all of baseball. Oakland also included last year's 1st round pick, and a back of the rotation with your favorite, "team control". A top 5 MLB prospect, their 2nd best prospect, and an established starter, plus a PTBNL, which is likely this year's 1st round pick, who can't be traded yet.

If you don't believe me about Russel being the #5 overall prospect, here's the link.

But keep calling me "insane" for saying the Rays would want Seager, Urias, and Pederson from the Dodgers. And I hope this vindicates me, in your eyes, of Lance Lynn and Peter Bourjous not being traded for David Price, a far superior pitcher to Jeff Samardzija.

Gadfly said...

First, I don't normally delete comments here, and haven't on this thread. Related to that, are you paranoid? What is it with you Rays fans?

Third, I never said Russell wasn't that good. Re the Samardzija trade, many people think it's a long-term overpay by the Rays. Re Price, the fact that the Rays didn't want a trade with him included reinforced the thoughts of many fans, and I'm sure John Mozeliak, that Freeman is being greedy.

Have fun getting nothing for him a year from now.