Aug 16, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starter David Price (14) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

What Could the Rays Get in a David Price Trade?

Top of the rotation starters are a scarce commodity. A true ace is even rarer, and teams typically are not adverse to opening their vaults to pay such talent. Zack Greinke received a 6 year contract from the Los Angeles Dodgers for a guaranteed $147million, which could be worth as much as $158million. Felix Hernandez recently signed a 5 year, $135.5million with the Seattle Mariners. Meanwhile, David Price signed a one year extension with the Tampa Bay Rays worth a mere $10.1125million to avoid arbitration.

Although Price has said numerous times that he wants to remain in Tampa, the economics of such an extension may not be feasible for the Rays. Therefore, the reality may be that, as difficult as it may be to picture Price in another team’s uniform, such a concept may end up happening sooner rather than later. As the Rays managed to defer $4million of his salary until next season, that time may be coming.

If recent trades involving pitchers considered to be ace caliber are any indication, the Rays may be able to receive a significant haul for Price. In fact, the Rays are likely quite aware of this, having received two top prospects in Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi for James Shields. Just over a week later, the Mets received two of the top prospects in the Blue Jays system in Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey. For the rental of Greinke, the Angels gave up Jean Segura, along with two other pitching prospects for two months. To acquire Greinke originally, the Brewers gave up Odorizzi, Jeremy Jeffress, Lorenzo Cain, and Alcides Escobar.

Of the teams mentioned as a potential landing spot for Price, the Texas Rangers are frequently mentioned, typically with Mike Olt or Jurickson Profar mentioned as returning to the Rays. However, given the past trades for top of the rotation starters, it seems unlikely that one or the other would be sufficient currency. In fact, it may well take both prospects, or another top prospect, as well as a couple of other players. So, what could a potential trade with the Rangers look like? Perhaps something similar to this:

Tampa Bay Rays receive 1B/3B Mike Olt/SS Jurickson Profar, P Cody Buckel, 3B Joey Gallo and P Nick Martinez From the Texas Rangers for P David Price.

It would seem unlikely that the Rangers would want to give up both of their top prospects, but may be willing to part with one of them. Buckel is probably the Rangers top pitching prospect, a strike thrower with a K/BB rate of almost 4:1 in the minors. Gallo has tremendous power potential, but has a long swing that could lead to strikeout issues and may not be able to stay at third base defensively. Martinez is a former shortstop that was converted to the mound, and has struck out roughly a batter per inning over his two years in the minors.

While that may not be enough to entice the Rays to trade David Price, they may be able to receive a substantial haul should Price become available. Considering the contracts given to top of the rotation starters recently, such a trade may end up becoming a reality.

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Tags: David Price Tampa Bay Rays Texas Rangers

  • docmilo5

    How about the Mariners? I’m hoping for an excellent year out of Jesus Montero with the bat. That would build a ton of value for an offseason trade. Montero (producing) Franklin, Walker, and a couple of more pieces.

    • Dave Hill

      I think they would want Zunino over Montero, just because of Montero’s defense. The Mariners have some pieces that could entice the Rays, and I think they work something out where Smoak or Carp end up in Tampa, but i don’t know if they have enough to land Price.

      • docmilo5

        They won’t get Zunino. Montero’s value is he’s a young team controlled MOTO bat, if he gets it rolling this year. He will likely be a DH and backup catcher.
        Reading another article about how the Rays have shed $28 million in contracts, I’m hoping Tampa extends him. They really should. There is a $28 million reduction plus the extra national TV money. Tampa is $50 million better off than last year. Extending Price now should be their #1 priority.

        • Dave Hill

          I agree. I’m hoping the Rays extend him as well, as that type of pitcher who wants to stay is tough to come by. Hopefully, they figure out the financial side to be able to get that done.

  • R-Diesel

    As a Rangers fan I’d do that (with Olt, not Profar) AND include Martin Perez or Leonys Martin, and a lower level pitching prospect (Yohander Mendez, perhaps?). I think these teams could match up very well, just a matter of when the Rays decide to test the market with Price.

    • Dave Hill

      If they do move Price, I’d probably be surprised if Texas was not one of the finalists, if not where he ended up. As you said, they match up very well.

  • RangerSregdoD

    As I’ve stated before in Rangers blogs this offseason… I think something like this would work to acquire Shields…
    Olt, M.Perez, Grimm, Gallo, E. Beltre/Martin and Sardinas.