Over the last few weeks from several different sources, most notably Buster Olney’s report, saying that the Rays would benefit most from cashing in on David Price’s success this season as his stock is at an all time high. Of all the teams that could be potential trade candidates, I have heard Texas & Kansas City, but not once have the Angels been mentioned, who in my opinion make perfect sense to partner with. Let me explain.
Reports have come out of the woodwork about the Angels not wanting to pick up the 2013 salaries for the underperforming Dan Haren ($15.5 million team option, $3.5 million buyout) and Ervin Santana ($13 million, $1 million buyout). Not to mention they are looking to make a huge offer to the soon to be free agent Zack Greinke. But adding in overpowering lefty David Price may be a more cost effective move at this point, even though he would be due a major increase in arbitration next year. Jerry Dipoto is most likely on the hot seat if the Angels don’t make the playoffs, especially after all their big spending this past offseason.
The 2013 rotation without Price would not be feared as much obviously but could stack up nicely with Moore, Hellickson, Cobb, Neimann, and Archer. And the possibility to bring back Shields if the Rays decide to pick up his $9 million option is still there.
I know what you’re thinking. Why move your best piece? It makes perfect sense. Andrew Friedman could potentially cash in while his value is at an all time high. The Rays do an excellent job of developing young pitching. What they need is run producing position players. So why not make a move now to acquire a power hitting first baseman in Kendrys Morales. While he will be arbitration eligible for 2013, he still is only 29 and hits for average and power- exactly what the cash strapped Rays need out of the other corner infield spot. Imagine a 3-4-5 of Zobrist, Morales and Longoria…not a bad middle of the lineup. It makes perfect sense as the Angels will not be moving Pujols, and with the emergence of Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout, Morales becomes expendable. When healthy, Morales has shown he can produce big at a low risk to Tampa. Of course it would take more than just Morales to make this deal work but the Angels should have enough ammo in the minors to include to swing such a deal to persuade Tampa to pull the trigger. As much as I would hate to see Price go, I would love to see what Tampa could get in return.