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David Price to the Cubs? Why not?

Jul 21, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

David Price AP AP

To be clear, this is not a trade rumor. This is more like matchmaking. The matchmaker is Ken Rosenthal and you gotta admit that he makes some good points here:

The Cubs are deep enough in position prospects to make the right offer. And the Cubs, though they don’t always act like it, play in a large market, which means they can afford Price’s projected $20 million salary next season.

Oh, and one other thing: When Price said at the All-Star Game that Chicago “would be the coolest city to win a championship in right now,” he wasn’t referring to the White Sox.

He adds that the Cubs hired Derek Johnson as the clubs’ minor league pitching coordinator a couple of years ago and Johnson used to be Price’s college pitching coach, but that’s superficial stuff. It’s the “CC Sabathia lives in California so of course he’ll sign with the [insert California team here]” of 2014. The better part is noting the the Cubs match up pretty well with the Rays in that they have a lot of hitting prospects that the Rays would no doubt covet.

It would be weird for a team as bad as the Cubs to make a trade for an ace that every contender would kill for right now, but it’s not like the Cubs are going to come up with a guy internally who will be as good as Price can be expected to be in 2016 when, I figure, is the earliest they can be legitimately interesting.

Then again, no one expected the Rays to be legitimately interesting as quickly as they were back in 2008.

  1. felser - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    they may get him and flip him.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Lou Brock to the Cardinals! Said every old Cubs fan, ever. :)

  2. jc4455 - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Robinson Cano to the Mariners. LeBron to the Cavaliers. McGwire to the Cardinals (odd that the model NL team would take on such a dubious character – they probably weren’t aware of his cheating).

    • alangyo - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM


      Nick Punto to the A’s.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      LaRussa managed McGwire with the A’s, plus half or more of all major leaguers used steroids in the 1990s anyway. Thus, of course the Cards front office had to know he was at least a likely user. Plus, have you forgotten that just this past winter they signed Jhonny Peralta? If they are willing to sign someone who has violated the current PED rule (and there is no legit reason not to), then why would they demure against signing someone back when there was no enforceable rule?

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        I actually agree … part of why I’m not a “blind” Cards fan. Hell, if half of what Tom Boswell said about the “Canseco Milkshakes” is right (I know, it’s Boswell), Tony the Pony knew long, long ago.

        It’s also why I don’t think TLR, or Torre, should be in the HOF. We’re going to bar certain players, then let’s bar their managers too.


        As for the rest of JC’s post at the top of the thread, I have no idea what he’s talking about. The Cards were a playoff-contending team already when they got Big Mac. Due to the different nature of basketball, and the different nature of LeBron, the Cavs automatically became one with getting LBJ to return.

  3. icanspeel - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Cubs may not compete this year, but with all that young talent… a few solid veterans such as David Price could easily make them contenders in the near future.

    • jc4455 - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      Hey, it worked for the Royals. Oh wait, it didn’t.

      • Uncle Charlie - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        Exactly jc, that’s a trade for Dayton Moore or RAJ.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      With the extra playoff spot, 85 wins is enough to get you into the hunt. And if the Cubs think getting David Price will give them a sales pitch to another free agent, that could mean a 1-2 punch of Price and (say) (sigh) Jon Lester.

      There’s no reason the Cubs can’t afford a $150 million payroll. None. The problem for the Cubs — as with every other big market team — is that the free agent marketplace is a scary place. It’s hard to find talent worthy of the paycheck there.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Price plus Lester together is a lot of spending. The Cubs had better make sure some of the young bats are ready to contribute if they chase both pitchers.

    • jilljulias - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      It didn’t work for the Royals. But the Cubs would have money to add players while the Royals don’t. No guarantees, but the Cubs would have a better shot because they could add payroll.

      Oh, and one of Price’s best friends in baseball is Edwin Jackson. Guess who he pitches for?

      • shorttracknews - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:10 PM

        Edwin Jackson really doesn’t pitch for the Cubs, he just takes up a roster spot and gets paid every 5 days…

    • thomas844 - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Also, people forget about Jake Arrieta, who has a 2.12 ERA and 9.8 K/9 ratio. He and Price would make one heck of a 1-2 punch in the rotation.

  4. nbjays - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Well, it’s not like Price hasn’t pitched brilliantly this already season with little or no run support in Tampa… the Cubbies would just be more of the same. Samardzija 2.0

  5. natstowngreg - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    It is odd, as July deadline trades are about acquiring talent to win in the current season. If Theo and Jed are considering seriously moving part of their treasure trove of young hitters for a prime pitcher (before the team is ready to contend), kudos for thinking outside the box. Price will be extremely expensive to keep, but they should have cut enough payroll by now.

  6. hojo20 - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    How much chain does Theo Epstein have before he starts to feel the heat? This is the third straight year the Cubs have stunk. With 5 teams making the playoffs, you’d figure they’d be in contention at least once.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      I’m not a Cubs fan, but the roster that Theo inherited was truly awful. If I were a Cubs fan, I wouldn’t be looking for a playoff spot just yet, but I would want to see evidence that my patience was going to pay off. Maybe some minor leaguers who are already contributing, for example.

      • antaresrex - Jul 21, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        I am a Cubs fan, and I can accept where the team is right now. The losing is disappointing – getting swept by the D-Backs doesn’t help – but the long-term outlook is promising.

    • rossjcook - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      No, it was understood at Theo’s hiring that the expectation was going to be 3-4 years of a fairly bad team before things would have the possibility of turning around.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      A baseball team is an organization. Scouts, minor leagues and the big league team.

      Unless a team is going to buy free agents every year, they need to improve their organization.

      I can’t speak to their scouts, coaches in the minors etc… but Theo IS getting talent in their organization.

      They have MANY good, highly rated players on the farm. Will all of them pan out? Of course not, they never all do.

      But he has a LOT of them and SOME of them are going to pan out.

      I like what he’s done and the team will improve, it just depends how much as everyone is thinking and wanting a title (and so is Theo).

      Theo knows it’d difficult but he also KNOWS what he’ll be thought of if he brings a title to the Cubs.

      I admire him for trying, stepping up to the plate to take a swing. He didn’t have to come to the Cubs. If he fails, well he still has two titles with Boston and they hadn’t won in 86 yrs.

  7. raysfan1 - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Interesting thought by Rosenthal, but I’ll be floored if the Cubs do any trade deadline obtaining. I could see them looking into this kind if thing in the off season if Price is still with the Rays.

    • Alex K - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

      If it happens I would bet that the offseason is the time.

      I love the idea of David Price to the Cubs, but am weary of the amount of young talent it will take to pry him away.

  8. thomas844 - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    The only thing standing in the Cubs’s way is the fact that every other team in their division is a playoff contender.

    • mazblast - Jul 21, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      How DARE you confuse the issue by bringing up facts?

  9. rickrenteria - Jul 21, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Cubs have been showing off Arismendy Alcantara the last week to try and flip him. He’s played an awful CF but has been decent at 2nd. However, there is no way the Cubs will be adding a player like Price this season. When all the new signage and Jumbotron revenue starts flowing in next year, only then will they start acquiring decent pitchers.

  10. wjarvis - Jul 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    If Price becomes a cub it will be after the 2015 season, when he signs as a free agent. The Cubs won’t be competitive until then, and would have to pay him for 2016 and beyond anyway, so why give up prospects to get him earlier.

  11. rosloe62 - Jul 21, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Eventually the Cubs are going to have to get talent outside their farm system.

  12. paperlions - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    This is a horribly stupid idea. The Cubs aren’t competitive this year and are unlikely to be next year, all of their prospects are not due to debut in MLB that soon and it is unlikely that there will not be growing pains.

    Why give away a bunch of talent for useless years from Price when they can just wait until he is a FA and sign him for nothing but money and keep all of their talent? That is what a smart team would do and it is why the Cubs have 0 interest in giving up elite prospects for Price.

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