David Price Rumors

Rosenthal’s Latest: Dodgers, Price, Hammel, Padres, Twins

In his latest video, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has an interesting theory as to why the Dodgers may be keen to acquire Rays starter David Price. Over 70% of the Dodgers market is currently blacked out due to a dispute between Time Warner and Direct TV. Adding another superstar pitcher to a rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke could put even more pressure on the two telecom giants to work out a deal.

  • Speaking of Price, A’s GM Billy Beane confirmed interest in the southpaw, but he preferred to add two pitchers in one fell swoop. He was also concerned about Price’s potential $20MM price tag next season, which would be hard to absorb into the club’s payroll or move via trade.
  • For their part, the Cubs were eager to deal Jason Hammel before the market became saturated with similar pitchers.
  • The Padres have interviewed four candidates for their open GM position and plan to interview another seven to eight prior to the end of the All-Star break. Then they will invite two or three candidates back. A new GM may be named by the end of the month, although they may not start until after the non-waiver trade deadline.
  • The Twins will hang onto their trade chips until after the All-Star game, which will be hosted at Target Field. As we heard earlier tonight, Josh Willingham, Kevin Correia, and Kurt Suzuki are the most likely to find new homes.

Reactions To A’s-Cubs Trade

For weeks now, the baseball world has been waiting for the Cubs to line up trades for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.  Last night, Theo Epstein & Co. killed two birds with one stone and packaged both together in a deal with the A’s.  In return for two of the most talked about pitchers on the trade block, the Cubs received top prospect Addison Russell, outfield prospect Billy McKinney, and pitcher Dan Straily.  Here’s a look at some of the reactions to the blockbuster deal.

  • MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes (on Twitter) says the Cubs are taking an interesting approach by stockpiling top position player prospects and putting off acquiring pitching.  Dierkes can see Straily providing Travis Wood-like value for the Cubs since teams pay big money for innings from a No. 4 type (link).  Meanwhile, the deal makes the rest of the trade season kind of anticlimactic for Cub fans after their two best trade chips were moved on the Fourth of July (link).
  • Before pulling the trigger on the deal with the Cubs, the A’s discussed a swap involving Russell with the Rays for David Price, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. However, nothing ever materialized on that front.
  • The Yankees exchanged proposals with the Cubs on both Samardzija and Hammel, but could not compete with Russell’s inclusion, tweets FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
  • In a separate tweet, Rosenthal reports the A’s don’t intend to flip Hammel because they will need him to win the AL West.
  • ESPN’s Keith Law writes in an Insider piece (subscription required) the A’s and Cubs both significantly impacted their franchise, albeit with different timelines in mind.
  • The early word is the Cubs are not looking to make any moves from their shortstop stockpile as the Mets have nothing brewing with Chicago and the Yankees have checked but to no avail, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links).
  • Moneyball isn’t about on-base percentage or any one statistic, it’s about exploiting what is over- or under-valued and prospects are over-valued at present, writes Sherman. However, he notes (link) Javier Baez and Russell are big guys who might not stay at shortstop, so Starlin Castro may still be the Cubs’ long-term guy.
  • The A’s may have made themselves the favorites for 2014, but the Cubs ultimately may have won the deal, writes CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman.  “He’s Barry Larkin with power,” one rival baseball executive said of Russell.
  • The loss of Russell, in particular, could end up haunting the A’s, whose current shortstop Jed Lowrie is a free agent after this season, but GM Billy Beane has never been afraid to take an unconventional route, writes Rosenthal.
  • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle echoes Rosenthal and adds the trade may point towards an extension for Lowrie and this wouldn’t be a bad time to do it.
  • The trade demonstrates Beane’s burning desire to win now and now could be his only window for winning a World Series, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee.
  • Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com calls this trade fascinating because of the guts it took to swing such a deal between two men (Epstein and Beane) who defy convention for the way the game of baseball changes.
  • The Cubs signed Hammel to a one-year, $6MM deal in late January and in July he has netted them one of the five best prospects in baseball, notes Passan (via Twitter).
  • Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron (via Twitter) is usually against trading great young talent, but likes the trade for the A’s since present wins have so much value to them right now.  Of course, he likes the swap from the Cubs‘ perspective, too.
  • Mike Petriello of Fangraphs writes the trade is a win-win for both the A’s and Cubs, but the real winner could be the Rays, who just saw two of the top available starting pitchers dealt while only one contender benefited increasing the demand for Price.
  • Addison Russell (Twitter link) is excited to be joining forces with Kris Bryant.
  • Billy McKinney called the A’s an “amazing and classy organization” and is “excited to start and (sic) new chapter in the Cubs organization” (Twitter links).
  • Dan Straily also tweeted his appreciation of the A’s organization, but is looking forward to beginning the next chapter of his career with the Cubs (Twitter links).

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


AL East Links: Machado, Reimold, Lester, Jays

Manny Machado‘s five-game suspension has been upheld by the league, the Orioles announced today, and the third baseman will begin serving his suspension tonight.  Machado had been appealing the ruling, which stemmed from a June 8th incident that saw him throw his bat towards third base in a game against the Athletics.

Here’s some more from around the AL East…

  • The Orioles are thought to be looking at trade options for Nolan Reimold, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports.  The O’s must decide by today what they will do with Reimold, as they would otherwise have to designate the outfielder for assignment unless he is placed on the Major League roster.  Reimold has been hampered by multiple neck surgeries over the last few seasons but has posted a .902 OPS over 17 games on a Double-A rehab assignment.
  • Jon Lester told reporters (including WEEI.com’s Alex Speier) that there haven’t been any new negotiations between his representatives and the Red Sox, and there won’t be any extension talks during the season since Lester considers them a distraction.  “Like I said from the beginning of the season, everything is amicable. Conversations continue. But nothing as far as contract or numbers or anything like that,” Lester said.  The southpaw also noted that his preference to wait until after the season to negotiate doesn’t mean he is any less set on remaining in Boston.
  • Also from Speier, Mookie Betts and Brock Holt are both similar to Dustin Pedroia in both makeup and physical stature, a sign of how the Red Sox are focusing more on ability than body type in developing their prospects.
  • One AL scout would “without hesitation” trade the prospect package of Daniel Norris, Aaron Sanchez and Dalton Pompey for David Price if the Blue Jays received such a demand from the Rays, the scout tells Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun.  This may not be enough for the Jays to outbid others for Price, however, given the number of teams interested and how Tampa is rumored to want a premium if they were to trade Price within the division.  Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is said to be refusing to move all of Norris/Sanchez/Pompey in a deal for anyone, including Price, Jeff Samardzjia or another pitcher.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman is “looking to make some additions if I can,” he told reporters, including Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times. “I’d like to try to do a few things before those guys [C.C. Sabathia, Michael Pineda] get back, if possible. But I’ve already been trying. There’s a reason we haven’t done anything; it’s not because of a lack of phone calls. We’ll see.”  The Yankees are known to be looking for starting pitching to help their rotation depth.


Cafardo On Price, Hammel, Pirates, Tigers

Here’s the latest from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo:

  • With David Price of the Rays on the trading block, Cafardo asks Brewers GM Doug Melvin about the process of trading, or trading for, a top starting pitching. Melvin has been on both sides of that process, having traded Zack Greinke and having acquired Greinke and C.C. Sabathia. Melvin says he would have been willing to trade Greinke within the NL Central, but for an extra charge. “I had teams within the division asking for him, and my approach to that is this: I had no problem doing it, but I had to get a little extra if I was going to do it. And that’s what I told them,” he says. Even assuming that’s the Rays’ policy too, though, it isn’t clear there’s a great matchup between them and any other AL East team. The Blue Jays are one possibility, but Cafardo writes that they seem to be more interested on a lower-tier starter like Jason Hammel of the Cubs.
  • A source tells Cafardo, “You could argue that Hammel is the most sought-after player, positional or pitcher, in the trade market right now.”
  • This season, the Pirates are likely to pursue a starting pitcher and a reliever, but not an offensive player.
  • Victor Martinez wants to stay with the Tigers. One potential hitch as he heads toward free agency, though, is that the Tigers will have to figure out how long Miguel Cabrera will be able to play defense until Detroit needs to move him to DH.

Quick Hits: Price, Rays, Taveras, McCarthy

Dealing David Price is the Rays‘ “only chance for success,” executive Andrew Friedman tells the New York Times. He doesn’t seem to be saying that the Rays are duty-bound to trade Price, only that dealing valuable players is a crucial way for the Rays to add talent. “The trades that we’ve made, looking back, the only reason we got good players in return is because we traded really good players,” says Friedman. Nonetheless, Friedman is frustrated with the trade market — he needs to acquire young players for the Rays to succeed, and yet the market isn’t favorable to teams acquiring prospects. “The attrition rate and the hit rate isn’t factored in nearly enough or appreciated enough,” he says. “But it’s really our only chance for success.” Here are more notes from around baseball.

  • Rival executives think the Rays won’t trade Price until close to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, writes CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. The Rays’ front office likes to be deliberative in its decisions. There is consensus, though, that the Rays will trade Price this summer, since the Rays’ season has gone poorly, Price has lots of value now, and he’ll have a hefty salary in 2015.
  • The Cardinals are unlikely to trade, and should not trade, Oscar Taveras, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. With pitchers dominant in today’s game, offense is at a premium, and Taveras’ bat is too good not to keep, particularly for a veteran who might only be around for one or two seasons.
  • Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy is bracing for a possible trade, FOX Sports Arizona’s Jack Magruder writes. “It certainly seems likely, but if I am still here at the end of September, then great,” says McCarthy. “Right now as a Diamondback, sometimes your best value is your future value and what they can get for you. I totally understand that side of the game.”

Pitching Rumors: Price, Angels, Miley, Ross, Samardzija

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Cardinals should not overpay to acquire David Price from the Rays by parting with Oscar Taveras. Rosenthal points to the decline of offense around the league and the rarity of controllable sluggers in opining that Taveras is too valuable a commodity to lose. He also notes that the Cardinals aren’t typically big spenders, but adds that the team could create room for Price’s remaining $7MM and roughly $18-20MM 2015 salary by electing not to re-sign free agents such as Jason Motte and Pat Neshek, as well as non-tendering arbitration eligible players such as Peter Bourjos. While St. Louis could put together a formidable package headlined by Carlos Martinez, he also notes that a team like the Dodgers could top such a package perhaps by including prized outfielder Joc Pederson.

Price’s name — and the names of several others — will be hot topics over the coming month. Here’s the latest on the pitching market…

  • The Angels are interested in Price but don’t have the prospects to acquire him, Rosenthal reports (Twitter links). He adds that Cubs hurler Jason Hammel is on a long list of alternative options for the Halos. Rosenthal also reports that the team would like to acquire left-handed relief, though landing a starting pitcher would allow them to use Hector Santiago in relief.
  • In his daily blog post (subscription required/recommended), ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that several teams are looking at alternatives to the market’s two big-name starters — Price and Jeff Samardzija. Several clubs are interested in pulling off a deal similar to the Tigers’ acquisition of Doug Fister from the Mariners back in 2011. As such, the Diamondbacks are receiving interest in Wade Miley, and Padres righty Tyson Ross could become a target as well. Controllable arms like Miley and Ross will be highly appealing to rival clubs, as any team can afford them — regardless of payroll. He adds that the D’Backs and Padres might be years away from contention anyhow, and at that point, Miley and Ross will have become expensive via arbitration.
  • Later in his post, Olney writes that the Giants will have a tough time lining up for a Price trade, as their 2015 roster is full of holes that will need to be filled — namely at third base, left field and second base. Price’s 2015 salary would prevent them from addressing their many needs, as would a Samardzija acquisition, albeit to a lesser extent.
  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports looks at three factors that will impact the Cubs’ ability to maximize their return on a Samardzija trade: Many contenders are hurting more for offense than pitching in 2014; interested parties will have Price as an alternative and may prefer to surrender more talent for the longer, more impressive track record; and Samardzija is seen by some GMs as unlikely to sign an extension regardless of setting. One interested GM confidently told Heyman, “No one’s going to extend him. He’s hitting free agency,” noting that Samardzija’s agency, Frontline Athlete Management, has a history of taking clients to the open market (e.g. Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Mike Hampton).

Rays Prepared To Move David Price

While no deal is imminent at the moment, rival officials tell ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Rays are prepared to move David Price “right now” if the right offer presents itself (ESPN Insider subscription required and recommended).

Olney notes that the Rays’ litany of injuries and surprisingly poor performances from Evan Longoria and Wil Myers have buried Tampa in the AL East cellar. Waiting for another month or more to move Price presents the Rays with a great risk, he points out, using Matt Garza as an example. The Cubs intended to trade Garza two summers go but waited too long and saw their No. 1 starter go down with a season-ending injury. Olney goes on to write:

“The expectation of rival officials is that sometime in the days ahead, some team is going to call Rays GM Andrew Friedman with the right offer, with enough pitching included to fill Tampa Bay’s organizational need.”

Olney also highlights Price’s improved performance and velocity of late, noting that the league-wide need and his resurgence have made the conditions almost perfect to move the former Cy Young winner. Indeed, while Price’s velocity has been anything but consistent, Fangraphs’ velocity chart on him shows a gradual increase from the beginning of the season, and he’s averaged 93.4 mph or better in five of his past eight starts.

Tampa is said to prefer to trade Price to the National League — or at the very least out of the AL East — but the suitors for Price will be plentiful. Olney speculates on the Giants, Dodgers and Cardinals as possible fits. Other clubs that have been connected to Price in recent weeks have been the Blue Jays and the surprising Marlins. Miami’s NL East rivals, the Braves, are reportedly unlikely to join a pursuit of Price. That’s not surprising, given how much the team had to stretch payroll simply to accommodate Ervin Santana in Spring Training.


Latest On Blue Jays’ Interest In Jeff Samardzija

The Blue Jays continue to scout Jeff Samardzija, as pro scouting director Perry Minasian was in attendance for yesterday’s outing against the Reds, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Much of the chatter regarding Samardzija to this point has included speculation when it comes to Chicago’s asking price, but Morosi hears “strong indications” that the Cubs would deal Samardzija for a package highlighted by right-hander Aaron Sanchez, left-hander Daniel Norris and center fielder Dalton Pompey.

Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos has maintained that he won’t include all three of those prospects in a deal for Samardzija or any other available pitcher — even David Price — according to Morosi’s report. He also notes that as much as the Blue Jays like Samardzija, they may prefer Price and Philadelphia southpaw Cole Hamels (though the latter isn’t guaranteed to be available).

The Blue Jays reluctance to deal three of their top prospects lines up with previous indicators that they may be more interested in rental players than controllable players due to a strong desire to preserve some of their farm system. Toronto has dealt away some notable prospect value — including Noah Syndergaard, Travis d’Arnaud, Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, Henderson Alvarez and Anthony DeSclafani — to acquire the likes of R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes. One thing we do know is that Anthopoulos feels he will have ownership’s blessing to expand the team’s payroll if necessary.

As for the three prospects listed by Morosi, Sanchez entered the season with the highest stock of the bunch but has seen his star lose some of its luster after struggling to a 4.08 ERA and issuing 48 walks in 75 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Norris, on the other hand, has been electric, turning in a combined 1.62 ERA and 4.47 K/BB ratio in 72 innings between Class-A Advanced and Double-A. Pompey ranked just 17th among Toronto prospects (per Baseball America) prior to the season but has boosted his value with a strong .312/.392/.460 batting line, six homers and 27 steals (in 29 attempts).


NL East Notes: Jennings, Braves, Hamels, Mets

Dan Jennings was a guest on MLB Network Radio’s Front Office show this morning, and the Marlins GM told hosts Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden (as per Bowden’s Twitter account) that owner Jeffrey Loria is willing to “open the checkbook” to make additions before the trade deadline.  Miami began the season with one of the league’s lowest payrolls at just under $46MM, yet despite losing ace Jose Fernandez to Tommy John surgery, the Fish began the day just 1.5 games out of first place in the NL East.  The Marlins could be looking to take advantage of their surprising good form, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported earlier today that Miami has been as aggressive as any team in scouting for upgrades.

Here’s some more from around the NL East…

  • The Braves likely won’t be involved in the bidding for the RaysDavid Price or the CubsJeff Samardzija, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.  The team is already over budget and still has a solid starting rotation, despite the loss of Gavin Floyd.
  • The easiest way for the Phillies to rebuild would be to trade Cole Hamels, Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.  Despite Hamels’ big contract (he is owed approximately $107.5MM through the end of the 2019 season), he is younger and carries fewer health question marks than other veteran Phillies who could be available in trades.  “If I were in their boat, I’d really hate to move [Hamels],” a rival executive tells Brookover. “But if you go back to question about which player is going to bring you the most value, you’re going to get the most for that guy. You have to get the most you can for a guy like that. If you don’t, you keep him. But you’re only going to get 1.5 pieces for someone else when you could get a lot more than that for him.”
  • When Travis d’Arnaud returns this week, the Mets have the choice of either optioning Anthony Recker to Triple-A or exposing Taylor Teagarden to waivers, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin writes.  Also, Teagarden has the option of becoming a free agent if he is outrighted again.  Rubin explores several factors in the decision, such as whether the Mets would mind losing Teagarden, and the effect this roster move could have on catching prospect Kevin Plawecki‘s development.

Latest On David Price

There may not be a more heavily-discussed player in the leadup to the July 31 trade deadline than David Price.  Here’s the latest buzz about the Rays southpaw…

  • The Dodgers are considered the favorites to land Price by many around baseball, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes.  The Cardinals have recently been scouting Price, and the Giants are also in the mix.  The Marlins could have an interest in Price, and had scouts watching his start last Friday.
  • Topkin also opines that the Braves, Angels and Indians make sense as possible suitors for Price.  Cleveland scouts were present at Price’s most recent start.
  • The Rays would prefer to trade Price to the National League, or if not the NL, at least outside of their own division.  While an AL East trade isn’t impossible, Topkin believes a division rival would have to give up something beyond the already-large asking price the Rays are seeking for their ace.
  • It helps both Price and the Rays if a trade is worked out sooner rather than later, Topkins believes.  The Rays can get an early jump on the pitching market and Price seems to be getting frustrated by both Tampa Bay’s struggles and the constant questions about his future.
  • While Price is only under contract through the 2015 season, a rival scout tells ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider subscription required) that teams gunning for a World Series won’t hesitate to give up a big trade package for the lefty.  “You worry about the cost of signing him later, and if he walks away, that’s the way it goes. But you’re adding a No. 1 starter who can be a difference-maker for two seasons,” the scout said.