David PriceThis was probably inevitable no matter where the Rays would have been in the standings. But with the Rays battling numerous injuries and struggling to a 16-22 start, there is already some in the media speculating that the Rays will soon be forced to trade David Price.

Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com gets us started.

“But for the first time in years, it’s time to ask serious questions about the near- to mid-term outlook of a model organization. Even in 2011, when they authored a comeback for the ages to overtake the Boston Red Sox on the season’s final day, the Rays led the AL East with a 23-15 record at the 38-game mark. Now they’re the second-worst team in the AL at 16-22 — ahead of only the Houston Astros. Barring a dramatic recovery, Rays officials may have little choice but to trade ace David Price and replenish a farm system that isn’t as prospect-rich as it once was.”

You would think the national media would have learned by now that the Rays ALWAYS have a choice and they NEVER trade players just because other feel they have to.

Remember when everybody assumed the Rays would trade Price this past winter, because they have to?

Yes, the Rays look bad and their outlook looks dim.

Yes, as Morosi points out, the farm system needs replenishing.

Yes, the Rays may be able to get more for selling 1.5 seasons of David Price than if they wait until the off-season (although this is certainly debatable as the number of teams bidding tends to be more in the winter).

But nobody is running away in the East and the Rays are just two decent weeks away from being in first place with their second ace (Alex Cobb) nearing his return to action.

Also, a major reason the farm system is depleted is because many of the Rays’ top prospects in the majors (Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer ring a bell?).

We posted this graphic at the beginning of the season. This shows the final season each player will be with the Rays if they are not traded, released, or receive a contract extension:

Roster

Where would you put a top prospect? The fact is, there is no pressing need for any prospects in the near future.

Trading Price will play out just like it does with every top veteran nearing free agency. The Rays will listen to offers no matter where they are in the standings. If somebody offers them a package the Rays like, they will take it.

If not, they will keep Price until the winter and start listening to offers all over again.

 
 

19 Comments

  1. Geoff Peterson says:

    And if Price has a poor year, he’ll earn less in arbitration and be even more attractive to a trade partner.

  2. Kevin says:

    Where would you put a top prospect???? The rotation! A rotation of Cobb, Archer, Hellickson, Odorizzi and Colome/Moore does not inspire much confidence. Behind these guys are Ramos/Karns/?? That list of guys is certainly nothing to get excited about.

    The better question is with all the value being placed on top prospects can you even get a true top prospect for 1 yr or 1.5 yrs of Price.

  3. Dave L says:

    This trade Price early to mid 2014 only makes sense to those ranging from people who have no interest in the Rays brand to those wishing to actively destroy it out of jealousy to its success which is at the expense of the favored northeastern franchises.

    Imagine the horrible message it sends to the most recent Free agent short term pick ups, potential future free agents, guys on that graphic signed through the next one or two years only, not mention the fan base.

    Show me a Rays team effectively eliminated in late July and then we can revisit the present and future value of DP. Wieters gone for who knows how long. Injuries arent specific to us.

    Remember, all our position players, while not lately overall producing ‘points’, are notably all still ambulatory and we still have the health advantage of relative youth to some of our rivals.

  4. Jay r el says:

    I agree Cork, I’d take more offense in a heartbeat for DP when this finally happens. We could absolutely stand upgrades at SS, LF, DH… But I def see the logjam. Curious when it happened why we gave DDJ and Jose Molina multi year deals, when you absolutely did not need to.

    We could always stack the Farm system, it isnt what it once was…. DP needs .to up his value before we even discuss. We’d be selling low currently, that’s not the Rays way.

  5. MocScott says:

    What Channel is the damn game on? Monday @ Seattle!???

  6. Ken says:

    That the media is once again starting to speculate about the Rays trading Price is really no big deal. What else do they have to write about? Mediocrity is not newsworthy after awhile.
    That many fans are also clamoring for a trade also doesn’t surprise me. I don’t regard them as traitorous or ill-informed. They, like all of us, are frustrated and looking for solutions.
    I’m not yet convinced that trading Price is the right thing to do. Not because of the impact it might have on Rays players or Rays fans though. My concern is that we, as Rays fans, might be overvaluing his worth. His numbers thus far are not worthy of the return most fans desire. The market for Price is small. Very few small/mid market teams will risk giving up the farm for a 1.5 year rental pitcher they probably can’t sign to a long term deal. Since it’s extremely unlikely the Rays would trade him to a division foe, the field of suitors is further limited. All winter long the speculation was that Price would go to either Texas or the Dodgers. I see only a few other teams that can afford him and are considered contenders at this point in the season. A ten game winning streak would defuse such speculation for now. However, after tonight’s game, I expect the rumors to escalate.
    Cork is right. The Rays will wait. One final thought…I’ve spent the last 10 days in the NYC area and have had the opportunity to talk baseball to many fans of the Yanks, Phils, Mets, O’s, Red Sox and Nats. There is a subtle but distinct difference in expectations between them and us. Our mantra is “let’s be in a position to play meaningful games in September.” Theirs is to win those “meaningful games”. JoMa is right when he says we lack that “walk off” mentality.

    • OriginalTom says:

      Great post Ken, however I disagree with you regarding Mets Fans. No Mets fan expects to be playing meaningful games in September. They hope the Arms on the farm continue to pitch well and can contribute in 2015 or 2016. Any Phils fans who expects to play meaningful games in September is delusional..

  7. Jim says:

    the rays brand? the rays brand is to trade when we think we can no longer afford the big contract. the rays brand is to stock up on young affordable pitching and dominate on defense. moving David price IS the rays brand.

    as far trading him in the division, if they’re the highest bidder, then send him on his way. let’s not let him walk to BOS or NY after next year, and get nothing but a wasted draft pick. please see C Crawford.

    waiting until the end of July greatly reduces the number of worthy trade partners. you’ll have big market teams that may be sellers/no movers instead of buyers at the trade deadline. dangling Price at them now(early) may entice them to spend and try save this season.

    having David price on a 80 win team is a complete waste of talent/resources. we overvalued C Crawford and BJ Upton, to the point we had to just let them walk. we thought they were the missing pieces that would push us to the WS, and we were wrong. surely this FO has learned from those mistakes. Asking for a king’s ransom instead of being reasonable for David Price is foolish, get what you can, move on.

    Plus if he keeps at his current pace, don’t be shocked if he goes on the DL to work out his issues, just like last year. Then his trade value goes straight in the toilet.

    i’m a fan, but i’m also a realist. we can play the what if game over and over. we know that keeping CC and BJ didn’t give us the results we were looking for so let’s not do the same with DP. this is not our typical slow start, this season is most likely already done.

    • Ken says:

      Jim, as a realist, please give us an example of what you think the Rays could get from any team for Price right now. Would we land one of the top 10 prospects in MLB. Probably not. Most teams realize we are on the ropes, and would offer as little as possible. Unless the FO starts to manipulate the market by spreading rumors and pitting contender against contender the return will probably be a bunch of A and AA players.
      I think the FO would rather labor under the illusion that we can turn things around than raise the white flag and suffer 60+ games with attendance below the Mendoza line. That’s reality. Sternberg won’t accept a two to three year rebuilding plan. That’s the dilemma.
      All of us thought the team coming out of spring training could win it all. To this point in the season all of us were wrong.
      My remark that a 10 game winning streak is what’s needed stands. Will it happen? Probably not but then we did go 25-6 last July. Show us your baseball acumen and play GM for a day. Could we land Tavares, Polanco, Baez for Price right now?

      • Jim says:

        If we can’t land a James Shields type deal then the FO has completely screwed the pooch on a Price trade.. Price will be the Gem of the trade season, we won’t get low balled by all, I truly don’t think we will get hosed on any trade for Price. I just fear we’ll stupidly let him walk away for a wasted draft pick. which history tells me is likely.

        Raise the white flag on attendance? Bahaha, what do you think we will draw on the next homestand? come august and Price is still on this team, and we are 10+ games out, what do you think about attendance? You act like having David Price on a losing team is some sort of attendance draw. We averaged 18K with Price on the mound and a playoff quality team last year, so 16K without Price isn’t a huge dropoff. last is last.

        25-6 with great defense, great starters, and a great bullpen. we currently have NONE of those. that’s not going to happen this year.

        • Ken says:

          You do have a penchant for twisting words Jim. Once your anger fades re-read my posts. I very clearly stated that the front office, not I, would rather sell the illusion of still being “in the race” than risk the backlash of fans like you who will have totally given up on the season after trading Price for a bunch of Minor Leaguers. As for Price being a gem, I hardly think a 4-3 record and a 4.74 ERA will fetch the haul you infer. Look at the rumor board. The Cubs may well pull the trigger on a Jeff Samardzija to the Yanks trade for an AAA catcher and two borderline minor league pitchers. If that’s the return you expect for Price I’ll take my chances on an off-season trade.

          • Jim says:

            4-3 4.75 era, that’s why you move him. Instead you’d rather risk that he not go on the DL, and not go 10-10, What’s his trade value then? with only 1 season left vs 1.5?

            keep in mind, you’re hoping our bullpen is going to bail him out and he’s going to somehow go lights out until the end of the year. David Price will be the #1 trade value at the deadline, unless he goes on the DL before then.

            Once again, I laugh at your “don’t want to lose the fans” analogy. We were last in attendance last year, with Price on the mound. What do you honestly think the attendance will be if we are 10 games out in September? With Price on the roster? 15K !!! without Price on the roster? 13K. Hint, the difference will be less in total $ than the remainder of this years salary for him.

          • Ken says:

            I yield Jim. It’s impossible to debate someone one who has the reading ability and logic of a 10 year old.

          • Jim says:

            no ken, it’s impossible to debate with someone that won’t admit that a miracle season isn’t just around the corner and that we should hold on to the very last second in order to have a unrealistic shot.

            time to retreat, and reassess. this isn’t the year it was supposed to be. we didn’t move price last offseason because this was gonna be “the year”. it’s not, and there’s no need to keep $5million in salary, when there’s going to be a ton off reasonable offers on the table at all star break.

            what happens at the end of the year when all the “rich” teams decide to wait it out until 2016 and sign him for nothing?

  8. Jim says:

    Cork,
    What is your magic number of games before we wave the white flag? Would it shock you in the least if we turned down all offers at the break and held onto him.

    The FO spewed the same crap about CC and BJ. “We’ll have more trade partners at the end of the year”. What happened? teams inquired at the all star break and laughed at our demands. End of the season rolled around, we reject more offers and the teams that could afford them long term, basically said “f them, we can wait a year”. please tell me that won’t be how the Price deal will turn out.

    I love all of this “10 game winning streak” stuff? have another sip of wine with joe. we’re much more likely to have a 10 game losing streak. the miracle comeback year was an anomaly, you guys are acting as though you expect it yearly.

    • OriginalTom says:

      When did the FO say they were going to Trade CC and BJ?

      • Jim says:

        they listened to offers and turned them down, yeah i know rumors, rumors.

        please tell me that you don’t believe that we were never “in talks” about both of these guys. hopefully we learned that holding on to them gained us zero, except some questionable draft pick(which we stink at)

        • OriginalTom says:

          Yes rumors Jim. Not knowing what was offered for CC and Upton makes it hard to fault the Rays for not trading them.

          It was an empty feeling after the Rays lost to the Rangers in the 2010 playoffs. It would have felt a lot worse if they had lost without CC on the team.

  9. Jason says:

    Being part of the media I’m sure you know better than any how to speculate. Like saying we are 2 good weeks out of first. Who are you kidding? It isn’t like Price and Archer are lighting it up. they are actually the weak links in the rotation right now. Not to mention the bad defense, offense, and bullpen. We are just a bad team right now and they have 2 months to make their move. They have to be above .500 going into July for Price to not be traded, in my opinion. We do need a nice haul for him, a couple pitching prospects and a couple offense prospects.

Leave a Comment