Chicago Cubs: Making a case for Price or Hamels


Price or Hamels? That is the question for this Cubs front office

With the trade deadline looming less than a week away, the Chicago Cubs are still waiting for the landscape to start taking shape. It’s not guaranteed that Theo and Co. will make any move let alone a significant one.

This time of year we often watch to see which teams will panic and overpay, and who will stay true to their approach. By now we have heard numerous experts, analysts, and fans give their opinions and thoughts on who the Cubs should be targeting.

Let me be clear by stating that I’m not in the group that thinks the Cubs should trade for David Price. Aside for what the Tigers are asking, his salary is just too cost-prohibitive to take on. By this I mean, the Cubs have to view him for what he is, a rental. Price will be a free agent at the end of the season and there is no telling if he would resign with the Cubs.

With that said, let me try to make the case for Price. As it stands the Cubs are hanging on to the second wildcard spot. Even if they make it to the wildcard game, the addition of another starter may not matter if the Cubs can’t win that game. If the Cubs trade for Price, I think it makes a clear indication to the team, the fans, and the rest of the league that they are going for it. It’s a hefty price to pay with a good amount of uncertainty attached to it.

The addition of David price would make the Cubs immediate contenders. Let’s all bask in the idea of a playoff rotation that would feature Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and the previously mentioned Price. Assuming The Cubs can work out a deal with Price beyond this year, one could make a strong argument that they would bolster the best 1-2-3 in the league. Lester is signed for the better part of a decade, while Arrieta is still under team control for at least two more seasons at a very team-friendly rate.

The Chicago Cubs are a natural fit for David Price. Having spent a chunk of his career playing for Joe Maddon, there is a comfort level and understanding that would work well here. In addition to Maddon, Price would get to work alongside Dave Martinez, who followed Maddon to Chicago from Tampa Bay.

If not David Price, then who? There is a certain shaggy-haired lefty in Philadelphia by the name of Cole Hamels. His name, too, has been connected to the Cubs for quite some time. The major difference between Hamels and Price comes down to the contract. While I previously mentioned that Price will become a free agent, Hamels still has four years of team control from an existing contract he signed in 2013. 

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And while an average of about $23 million doesn’t sound like team control, think about the alternative. Hamels and Price and making roughly the same amount as it stands today. While Hamels will continue to work under a structured deal, David Price may be able to turn a successful playoff run into a contract that far exceeds Cole Hamels.

Whether the Chicago Cubs make a trade or not will be a major checkpoint in the rebirth of this franchise. Both David Price and Cole Hamels would make the Cubs stronger. Hamels provides a strong message while preserving the next few years to come. Price provides a decisive indication that this team is all in solely based on the fact that there may not be a next year involving the starter. No matter the case, I hope Theo and Jed Hoyer do it within the framework of this ball club.

Next: Could Baez and Castro be a fit in Philly?