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Has David Price pitched his last game for the Rays?

Oct 7, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Barring an improbable ALDS comeback, Joel Sherman is hearing he has:

When you’re the Rays and you’re not prepared to give him the $200 million he’ll command on the open market, yes, it’s not a bad idea to think about trading Price now. He’s close enough to free agency that the pressure is on but far enough away where he could still demand prospects. I mean, James Shields brought in Wil Myers. Price could give you a couple of blue chippers, one would think.

  1. jm91rs - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    This tactic makes more sense when the team is not ready to compete. The Rays are in the playoffs and I don’t think they’re scheduled to lose anyone major after this year. If Price still has 2 years left I’d keep him around for one year. Look at the Cards, they could have gotten a lot for Pujols but kept him and let him walk after he delivered a World Series Ring.

    • spursareold - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      You get MUCH less when a player only has one year of control left than two years. Think: about half as much in prospects.

      If TB is determined NOT to sign him, you flip him when you get the most bang for the buck: this offseason. From what I’ve seen of the Rays FO, they don’t make short term decisions, and keeping him for one more year to flip him for LESS return is a short term decision.

      • Reflex - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Not only that, but the Rays are absolutely brimming in top pitching prospects. Flipping Price for a major offensive prospect and a young high ceiling pitcher would be a very smart move.

  2. amaninwhite - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Those trades were palatable because the team still had Price to lean on. There is no one behind Price ready to take over that role. Price would bring in a haul, but they’ll end up keeping him.

    • zzalapski - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      The Rays would still have Moore, Cobb, and Archer. Obviously, they’ll be better with Price back, but they’ll be fine without him. If another team is willing to pony up a package similar to what Shields brought back, the Rays should consider it.

      • amaninwhite - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        Those are all very good pitchers, but none of them are considered an ace the way Price was when they first traded Garza. If that changes in a year, then Price could become expendable. But the blow to next year’s playoff chance is too great if they deal Price now.

  3. MLBlogsbig3bosox - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    And Matt Garza brought in Chris Archer.

  4. Marc - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    I’m a Rays fan, and I’m clearly familiar with the pattern of trading away expensive starters, but I really believe that next year will be the Rays best chance to compete in many years. I also think the 2014 Rays will be better than any one that they have fielded to date.

    A lot of money will come off of the books this winter (Hernandez, Niemann, Scott, Loney, Johnson, Rodney, Molina, J Wright, and I believe Joyce and Ramos get traded because they are now both redundant on the 25 man roster), and there are only two important roles to fill via free agency, first base and they need one high leverage right-handed reliever.

    I really hope the Rays front office views it that way too. Keep Price for at least one more year, and then deal him.

    • spursareold - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      You get MUCH less when a player only has one year of control left than two years. Think: half as much in prospects.

    • pappageorgio - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Like it or not, small markets like Tampa don’t get to be powerhouses who are in every year. Best case scenario is that your FO keeps you competitive by being opportunistic and doing exactly is proposed in this article. As a small market it means you might have to sacrifice next year in the playoffs for the good of long-term health and a run in a couple of years.

      Off the top of my head….AZ could look like a good partner. AZ is ready to compete in the west and needs a top of the rotation guy to go with some solid young pitching. They have a pretty deep system with a future star like Archie Bradley as a centerpiece could make sense.

  5. largebill - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Never know what decisions might happen in off season, but it will be tough to find a trading partner. Most teams would love to add Price to their rotation, but how many will be willing to come up with a package of talent acceptable to Tampa Bay?

    • rrfredd - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      in addition, the rays will not trade him in-division and would most likely want him going to the NL.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 7, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        Actually, I doubt the Rays would have much issue trading him in-division. Long term, getting a huge prospect haul from their competitors weakens them in addition to providing the Rays with the benefit of said prospects. Friedman and company are smart enough to recognize that and take the best package regardless of where it comes from.

  6. indaburg - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I’ve been predicting on these here message boards this weekend that Mr. Price won’t be a Ray for long. He’s due for arbitration this year and he’s already making over $10 million. Sternberg has already been quoted in the paper recently saying that payroll cannot be sustained by current attendance levels, the lowest since 2007. These are the economic realities of being a Rays fan. Don’t get attached to your stars.

    • APBA Guy - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:21 PM

      Inda, attendance is one component of payroll, but the biggest growth area is TV revenue (see: LA Dodgers). How do the Rays look regarding TV revenue increases over the next few years?

      • indaburg - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        That’s an excellent point. Here’s a recent article I read in the Tampa Bay Times on just that topic:

        The Rays have surprisingly strong tv ratings considering their poor attendance but they also renegotiated their contract in 2008, before the big tv contract boom. Also, there isn’t any competition for the Rays. Fox is the only buyer.

  7. steve7921 - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Unfortunately, this is the way small-market teams have to keep getting better. Losing Price would be hard but with Cobb and Moore at the top end, Archer filling the 3rd spot and Hellickson, Odorizzi, Colome and even Torres would make for a very young rotation but I would be happy with them.

  8. blogger57 - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Let David Price go. He was not ready to pitch this year and is not an elite pitcher. He was a big disappointment giving up 6 runs to Boston this past Saturday when the Rays needed him to pitch well and get the Rays back in the series. He is overrated and does not have a plus fastball.

  9. chiadam - Oct 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    So long, nerds!!

  10. 18thstreet - Oct 7, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Somewhere in the thought process has to be whether the Rays have a better chance of winning a playoff spot in 2014 (keep him) or not (trade him). The Red Sox will probably be a bit worse — I’d expect much worse years from Ortiz and Salty (if the latter even comes back). And Ellsbury gets replaced by Jackie Bradley, Jr. (a pretty big a step down). Maybe Xander is better than Drew, and maybe Middlebrooks gives six good months. Maybe not. I’d put the Sox down for 5 fewer wins.

    The Yankees are dead. The Blue Jays are a mess. The Orioles will probably be about as good — maybe a little better.

    If I were the Rays, I’d start the year with Price and see where things stand at the time of the trading deadline. By 2015, the Yankees may have recovered from the hole they’ve put themselves in, and the Red Sox will have a better sense of whether Xander and the pitching prospects are any good. A very good window may be over.

  11. jeffbbf - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    So you are all speculating based on some random Tweet by Joel Sherman, who quoted “execs in sport” as his source? C’mon…

  12. pukpokito - Oct 8, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    The Yankees need to open up their wallet for Mr.Price the Ace Pitcher.Make it worth his while. The Yankees are in the game to win it all.Love them or hate them, you have to recognize that.They have not opened up their wallet since George Steinbrenner. It would be nice for the Young owners to fast track this rebuilding by teaing Mr.Price with Ace CC Sabathia who will try and shake off a bad year.It would be a fantastic Pitching staff.

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