The Tampa Bay Rays are bad, and are not getting any better.
Owning the worst record in the majors (28-45), and currently 13.5 games behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays, we can all assume Tampa Bay will be one of the teams’ selling at the trade deadline come Jul. 31.
And one of the names that will certainly surface in trade speculation is David Price.
Price, who won the Cy Young Award two seasons ago, is set to become a free agent after the 2015 campaign, and the odds Tampa Bay has the funds to give him the contract he’s seeking is slim-to-none. That happened with Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, B.J. Upton, etc. – the Rays have shown a pattern.
Should Price become available – which by all accounts he’ll definitely be – there’s rumors swirling that the New York Yankees may come calling.
According to ESPN senior baseball analyst Jim Bowden, Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner reportedly is adamant about executing a blockbuster deal at the deadline, and will give general manager Brian Cashman the pieces to accomplish said move.
Now, first and foremost, you’re probably wondering why Tampa Bay would ever deal Price within their own division, and it’s a plausible argument. However, because it looks as though Tampa Bay is only going to accept a massive package in return, they’re wise enough to take the best out there. And if New York offers a can’t miss deal, why not?
Although New York is viewed as a team with aging stars and a piss-poor farm system, believe it or not, they do have the arsenal to nab Price. And Bowden has a deal that could work.
Here’s what Bowden suggested the Yanks pitch to Tampa Bay: catcher Gary Sanchez, pitcher Luis Severino, and super-slugger Peter O’Brien for Price. This is an excerpt of what Bowden’s explanation was of the hypothetical scenario:
“The Rays have a long-term need at catcher, and Gary Sanchez would be the perfect acquisition in a Price deal. Sanchez would benefit from being developed behind the Rays’ Ryan Hanigan, who did a great job influencing Devin Mesoraco in Cincinnati before his trade to Tampa Bay. The Rays would also need a pitcher back in the deal, with Luis Severino being a top target. The 20-year-old is dominating the South Atlantic League, with a strikeout per inning and an ERA under 3.00. And because the Yankees would have to overpay — they’re in the Rays’ division and don’t have an Aaron Sanchez to deal — they also might have to toss in power-hitting prospect Peter O’Brien, who continues to hit towering home runs at an alarming rate (23 already between High A and Double-A). Would the Yankees pay this enormous price to get Price?”
The trade is a formidable and enticing package for the Rays to mull over, however, is New York willing to depart all three of those prospects for a pitcher whose not nearly having his usual David Price-like season.
In 15 starts this year, Price is 5-6 with a 3.93 ERA, and opponents are hitting .259 against him. Yes, he’s on a really, really bad team, but given his expiring contract after next season, and age, New York may be better off pursuing a pitcher like the Cubs’ Jason Hammel.
Nonetheless, it’s the Yankees, so expect the unexpected.