MLB: MAY 23 Rays at AstrosThe Seattle Mariners appear to be ready to make at least one big off-season splash and David Price may be at the top of their wishlist. The Rays are also reportedly doing extra homework on the Mariners top prospects.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Mariners are one of several teams that believe they have the right players to put together a package to acquire Price. The other teams named are the Dodgers, Angels, Pirates, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Blue Jays.

The Mariners may be an especially attractive trade partner as they appear to be willing to include young right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker, Seattle’s first-round pick in the 2010 draft.

The Rays are also increasing their research on Walker and some other prospects in the Mariners’ organization according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. In total, the Rays are looking at five Mariners players. In addition to Walker, the Rays are also researching left-handed pitcher James Paxton, second baseman Nick Franklin, infielder Brad Miller, and utility man Dustin Ackley.

Peter Gammons spoke with “some GMs” who told him “there is validity” to a potential trade between the two teams, with the Rays receiving Walker, Franklin, and another prospect. However, he added that other GMs told him the M’s won’t trade Walker.

Divish did note that Walker was previously considered “untouchable.” However, he says that feeling appears to have changed.

Sources also told Passan that the Rays would also be willing to accept an established big leaguer with a team-friendly contract as part of a trade package for Price.

Walker, 21, was ranked as the 18th best prospect in 2013 by Baseball America. In 25 starts at double-A and triple-A in 2013, Walker had a 2.93 ERA with 160 strikeouts in 141.1 innings. Walker also made three starts for the Mariners. Miller has a career .334 batting average and .409 OBP in 219 minor league games.

Most of the speculation surrounding a potential Price trade has centered around the Texas Rangers and Jurickson Profar. However, considering the presence of Yunel Escobar and his reasonable contract, the Rays would probably prefer to go in a different direction if another team offers a package with a similar value.

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14 Comments

  1. AJNO says:

    in the immortal words of Nipsy Russell... Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...

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    • Casey says:

      Both Brad Miller and Nick Franklin are from Florida. Solid players, but I don't see a need for them now or in the near future unless they shift positions.

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      • Dave L says:

        Going into their age 24 and 23 seasons and at SS and 2nd Base, they would definitely be good fits as they come into their prime at a time where the Rays could use them. They are basically the same age as Beckham and Lee. Escobar if he has another similar year will likely be priced out of our range and if we found an everyday 2nd baseman Zobrist would be an upgrade over Joyce and his platoonmate at RF whoever that may be.

        Both guys posted .910+ OPS in AAA and got their feet wet with some time with the M's last year.

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        • Alex says:

          They play in the PCL though. That always scares me when it comes to prospects because even the worst guys in the PCL rake

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          • Dave L says:

            Yes i dont disagree with that at all Alex.

            But thats the Rays plan. Let them prove it further in the IL.

            Stockpile near MLB talent and let the cream rise to the top. We cant tell the 22 yo future AAAA guys from the future All Stars and Andrew is smart enough to know he cant either. But if we get enough near-MLB ready talent----the Brignacs and the Myers will sort themselves by play on the field.

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        • Ken says:

          Escabar has fixed salary for 2014 and 2015 of $5M each year. I see him being our starting ss for the the next 2 years if he performs anywhere near what he did in 2013.

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          • Dave L says:

            Exactly Ken. Just in time for a Miller or HJLee to be 26

            I dont know if Miller is a plus defender or anything other than his stats but I am just trying to show how we need bodies like him to perpetuate the system

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  2. Craig says:

    If we can't sign Loney- would their be any intetest in Justin Smoak to play first base?

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    • phil says:

      As long as we get their stud pitcher Tujain Walker and Smoak is still young, fills a need and is switch hitter ...added one of their infielders (Miller or Franklin) and done deal!

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  3. bucforce says:

    With Cano signing with Seattle, does this make it more likely that Price would be traded there, and Miller/Franklin would now be part of any deal, along with Taijuan Walker?

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  4. Dave L says:

    With the Mariners locking down 2nd base with Cano, Franklin will be expendable for them so he and Walker are in the bag.

    Think our TV money will help us? Mariners signed a 17 year $2 Billion TV deal. The rising tide of TV money will lift our boat along but others will benefit so its a wash at best. They could lock up Price long term by next week.

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  5. Ken says:

    Got a feeling this trade will happen soon. Walker is a must, prefer Miller to Franklin though the latter is younger. The addition of Smoak makes sense, he's affordable, a switch hitter and still young enough to fulfill his 1st round potential. Probably gonna take one more good prospect on their end and a throw in (Joyce, Rodriguez, Minors pitcher) on our end to make it work. Could look similar to the Sheilds//Davis/Johnson deal if it happens. This trade has to happen.

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  6. edward williams says:

    do the rays not have thier own tv deal coming up , i thought it was in 2016, anyway , i just posted on the other story about price and mariners, ok i get the idea of stockpiling the minors, but isn't it time the rays went out and got a first baseman and signed him to a contract for more than a year, i would like to see loney, even at 8-9 million i read he's asking for , jeez we can't be losing that much money (in my opinion i don't think we are losing any) plus the 25 million this year, what is stopping them from signing a big name, and i don't mean a robinson cano type, why is it to hard to keep price , i understand if the package is to good than yes, trade him , but than look at our starting rotation. Who is our ace, Moore, Cobb, Archer, Hellickson, than who is our 5th starter, personally i think Cobb is the best out of all of them, but he has real bad luck with injuries, not his fault, but the last two years he missed consideralbe time, Matt is a little inconcistant, Hellickson just had a bad year i think he is better than that and Archer is young , aaaaaaaa so confused, every year we seem to go through this and still only go one and done, time for ownership to step up and give andrew a little more to play with and see what he can do , i don't think we are too far away from a championship if we keep price, still not sold on bell, but the hannigan trade is interesting, wow sorry guys about the long post, next weeks meetings out to be interesting.

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