The only things worse than trading a player for a player to be named later: trading one for cash considerations. When the Rays designated Stephen Vogt and Robinson Chirinos for assignment and subsequently traded them to the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers respectively, Rays fans had to hope they would at least get a lottery ticket prospect at rookie ball or something out of the whole ordeal. Instead, they settled for an undisclosed amount of cash from both teams and their only real return for Vogt and Chirinos was adding Jamey Wright and Shelley Duncan onto their 40-man and 25-man rosters. It’s unsatisfying, but it’s just a reality of baseball that letting players with the ability to be productive leave for basically nothing is some times the right move.
In the case of Chirinos, the Rangers acquisition of him spurred them to trade two different players to the Rays in separate deals, Juan Apodaca and Jeff Beliveau, and Apodaca has some backup catcher potential while Beliveau could be interesting as a lefty bullpen arm. Sometimes that actual trade itself is only the start of a chain reaction, and that could pay off for the Rays in the long-term.
David Price takes the ball for the Rays tonight with numbers worse than anyone could have expected as this point in the year: an 0-1 record, a 6.26 ERA, 5 home runs allowed, and under 6 innings per start in his first four outings. Price looks to turn himself around, and both Joe Maddon and Price are confident that he will be just fine.
Price’s velocity is down, but both he and manager Joe Maddon said that’s common for Price at this time of the season.
“I have no concerns about David whatsoever,” Maddon said. “He’s going to get extremely hot and just role with it. That’s just the way it’s going to be. He has not pitched at the top of his game yet. The velocity has been down just a click, but there’s been other good things.”
“It is, absolutely, because this is something I don’t want to just be good at. I play this game to be great. That’s the way I’ve always been,” he said. “But I’ve struggled before. I’ve struggled at every level I’ve ever been in in baseball. It’s part of it. The ones that can get through those struggles and not let it linger on for months at a time are the ones who can get through these struggles and still have extremely good years.”
That claim about Price’s velocity is something worth investigating (which we’ll hopefully do later today here at RCG), but the bottom line is that Price continues to show the overbearing arsenal that has made him one of the best pitchers in baseball and he will be just fine. His strikeout to walk ratio has actually been great at 21-7 and before we know it, Price will hit a groove and his results will get in line with what we’re used to. And when Price gets back on track, pairing him with yesterday’s starter, Matt Moore, will be opposing teams’ worst nightmare.