The Chicago Cubs have been oft-linked to the Detroit Tigers’ David Price. While his impact would be immense, so would his price. So is he worth it?
After years of languishing in the cellar of the National League Central, Cubs fans are clamoring for a blockbuster move ahead of this month’s July trade deadline.
More often than not, those delusions of grandeur come back to one of two pitchers: the Phillies’ Cole Hamels and the Tigers’ Price.
I wouldn’t mind the front office making a move for Hamels, given he comes with several more years of control – and a discounted price tag compared to what you’re going to give a free agent this winter – at least in terms of dollars.
However, Price is an entirely different story.
First, let me be clear.
David Price is probably the best left-hander in baseball outside of Clayton Kershaw. He’s pitched to a 2.32 earned run average and 1.114 WHIP in his 19 starts with the Tigers.
Given his familiarity with now-Cubs skipper Joe Maddon and his utter dominance over the last half-decade, it’s not hard to imagine why he’s considered “worth it” to so many fans.
But, to be blunt – he’s not.
There have been conflicting reports regarding what the Detroit front office wants to do with him, but let’s assume that he’s shopped over the next two weeks.
The team that trades for the southpaw will no-doubt get a major shot-in-the-arm for the dog days of summer. Trading for Price adds a bona fide ace to the mix – setting up multiple teams for loaded rotations in a potential playoff rotation.
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But again, he’s not worth it.
If he were in the same situation as Hamels, where he came with multiple years of team control, it would be an entirely different story.
For three months of David Price, it’s not worth unloading young, controllable talent.
There are several valuable pieces in the mix, including the often-forgotten Javier Baez, infielder Gleyber Torres and others – none of whom, in my opinion, are worth trading for what, in all likelihood, will be a one-game play-in game against one of the league’s best teams.
Even if Chicago holds on to a wild card spot in the National League, their entire season could come to a close in the Wild Card game.
If the season ended today, the Cubs would have to beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh for the right to advance to the division series. Would you trade multiple top prospects for the shot at that one game?
Some would say yes.
But with the legitimate shot at signing Price outright this offseason, the club’s resources would be better delegated elsewhere this July.
Next offseason, the team can – and undoubtedly will – try to sign the lefty to a mega-deal. And when they do, they’ll be glad they didn’t needlessly unload the farm system ahead of time.