In Ken Rosenthal’s latest piece, the FOX Sports writer details what he sees as a way to address continually-falling attendance rates and a general losing atmosphere at the Friendly Confines.
Well, I’ve got an idea for them. It’s an idea only, and not something that, to my knowledge, has even been remotely discussed. But it’s an idea that, if properly executed, would excite the Cubs’ fan base, demonstrating that ownership is serious about winning. Trade Jeff Samardzija. Get David Price.
It sounds pretty crazy, right?
First off, it’s not a ‘trade Samardzija to Tampa, get Price back’ type of deal. That would never fly.
Chicago, according to Rosenthal, would trade Samardzija to one of the interested parties (Atlanta, Toronto, Arizona) and receive top-level prospects, some of whom would, in turn, be dealt to Tampa Bay along with one or two of the Cubs’ position prospects for the left-handed Price.
Costly? Yes, it would be costly. An extension for Price would be costly, too — I’m thinking at least seven years, $190 million, or slightly above the Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez deals (Verlander and Hernandez are more accomplished than Price according to ERA-plus, but I’m accounting for inflation in the market and the fact that Price is left-handed).
However, Rosenthal admits that it would make more sense for Chicago to stick on Masahiro Tanaka instead, given how far the team is from contention. That being said, the Cubs – and every other team out there – will likely be in on the Japanese ace should he be posted this offseason.
Chicago is in the midst of a crisis. No one really puts it out there like that, but in my opinion, that’s what it is. They are still waiting for the go-ahead from two rooftop owners on the critical renovations to Wrigley Field that open up additional revenue streams. The big league roster is lackluster, at best, and the franchise has a long-standing losing culture that is deeply ingrained.
This year won’t be good. Next year could be long, too. One thing’s for sure. The front office is following the plan they laid out two years ago. But the question that remains is whether or not they can bring fans through the gates with such a poor on-field product.
Is David Price the answer?