Peter Gammons speculated publicly this month that Tampa Bay Rays ace left-hander David Price could be a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014. I have enormous respect for Gammons, his industry knowledge, his years of coverage, his adaptability to the changing culture of information in and around the game. Still, I don’t see that. The Dodgers lack the right top-end, cheap young talent, and should lack a little bit of motivation to make that move, given that they arelady have Clayton Kershaw. Maybe a Matt Kemp trade, or even a three-way deal, could set that up, but it feels unlikely.
Price to the St. Louis Cardinals feels much more likely. Price to the Cardinals makes all the sense in the world. St. Louis has a sizeable surplus of the kinds of players the Rays could want. They could package Michael Wacha, Kolten Wong and Matt Adams, or Matt Carpenter and Wacha, or Shelby Miller and Oscar Taveras. I don’t know. A lot of possibilities could work. Most of them probably wouldn’t, but something could.
Adams and Wong would be part of the package, if I’m the Rays. That’s a $1-million right side of the infield for the next two years, and rising slowly from there. Adams adds a big-power left-handed bat that could break up Evan Longoria and Wil Myers. Wong fits the team’s OBP and defense paradigm for winning.
It would all come down to how much pitching Tampa would demand, and how much the Cardinals would surrender. Andrew Friedman ensured he got a facsimile of James Shields, in Jake Odorizzi, when he dealt him away last winter. He did the same in trading Matt Garza after 2010, bringing back Chris Archer. I’d think anything short of Wacha or Miller would be too little to get the deal done, so it would come down to whether the Cards would fold if the pot got that rich. I’m not sure that deal would make sense for St. Louis. It would be slightly out of character, and could be an expensive mistake if Price’s peak proves short. Still, it’s appealing, if only because the Cardinals are the team that can satisfy the Rays talent-wise without hurting themselves in other areas.Next post: The Prospects’ Prospects: Why Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Similar Studs Aren’t Saviors
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