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Report: A’s talked to Rays about David Price before finding match with Cubs

Jul 5, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

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The blockbuster deal between the Athletics and Cubs has been officially announced. Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel are headed to Oakland while Chicago will receive prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, Dan Straily, and a player to be named later or cash considerations.

With the trade, the A’s have strongly positioned themselves for another run in October, but they looked at other trade scenarios before finding a match with the Cubs. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, one involved a possible deal for the Rays’ David Price:

They considered, for example, David Price. Once they steeled themselves to trading Addison Russell, the precocious 20-year-old who was going to be their shortstop for the next seven years starting in 2015, the A’s knew anyone was in play, including Price. They talked with the Rays. Permutations of a deal went back and forth. It never materialized.

It’s unclear how talks stalled or if they ever got serious. Like Samardzija, Price is under team control for next season, so perhaps A’s general manager Billy Beane wanted two pitchers for his rotation, which the Rays couldn’t offer. From the Rays’ perspective, they likely wanted some different pieces or possibly something more significant to part with Price. For instance, they might not have had a need for someone like Dan Straily. Ultimately, the needs of both clubs didn’t match up like they did in the deal involving Samardzija and Hammel. We might never know the answers here, but it’s an interesting what-if scenario to consider.

  1. wjarvis - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Well I’d certainly hope that if the GM of my team is going to trade the best prospects in the system that they’d do their due diligence and explore all the possibilities before pulling the trigger on a deal. It would have been shocking to me if they didn’t explore what the cost of acquiring Price was.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Let’s see how Jeff’s 4.61 career interleague ERA translates to pitching full time in the AL.

    • scatterbrian - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Wow, can you cherry pick a more meaningless stat?

      Why yes you can! Shark has 16 scoreless IP against the AL this season! Looks promising to me!

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Good point.

        If not for those two starts this season with career numbers against the AL look even worse.

  3. paperlions - Jul 5, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Price is the better pitcher, but he also has a salary that is $10M more than Samardzija this year and will probably be about that much more next year….costing the A’s another $15M. The problem may have been that the A’s wanted them to eat some salary in order to part with Russell.

    If Russell wasn’t enough for Tampa to figure out a way to make a deal work, the asking price must be very high indeed.

  4. phelps1313 - Jul 5, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Hey Butter how about pitching at O.co instead of Wrigley? You must be an Oakland hater

  5. 18thstreet - Jul 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    I don’t understand why this is news. (I’m not blaming our editors here, but Passan.) Of course they talked. I assume all teams talk about every player. It would have been negligent for the A’s (and any other contending team) not to figure out what it might take to get David Price out of Tampa. And it would be negligent for the Rays not to figure out who will offer the most for Price.

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