The trade deadline is 10 days away, which means that over the next 10 days we could see a number of Cubs and White Sox players on their way out of town. That’s just the position both teams are currently in, as slim playoff odds and rebuilds firmly plant both organizations as sellers this summer.
Though apparently not everybody agrees with the common sense logic of that equation.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal doesn’t think the Cubs should continue selling off any spare parts this week, but rather, he thinks they should try to land the biggest fish in Trade Deadline Lake: David Price.
Well, now Price is available — and will remain available through the July 31 non-waiver deadline, no matter how much the Rays climb in the American League standings. Really, nothing has changed since the offseason — make the right offer, and the Rays will jump.
Hello, Theo. And you, too, Tom Ricketts.
The Cubs are deep enough in position prospects to make the right offer. And the Cubs, though they don’t always act like it, play in a large market, which means they can afford Price’s projected $20 million salary next season.
Oh, and one other thing: When Price said at the All-Star Game that Chicago “would be the coolest city to win a championship in right now,” he wasn’t referring to the White Sox.
Rosenthal is right in one aspect. If there’s any team that has the prospect depth it would take to pry Price away from the Rays, it’d be the Cubs. But that doesn’t mean the Cubs should pay that price.
You know why the Rays are trading David Price? Because he’s really freaking expensive, that’s why. He has one more year of arbitration, and after getting $14 million for this season, that number is going to go up next year. So the Rays are trying to move him to get him off the books because they’re the Rays and they don’t pay anybody that kind of money. Price will then hit free agency following the 2015 season, and he’ll be available for any Major League team that wants to sign him.
Including the Cubs.
So it makes no sense that the Cubs give up a chunk of the prospects they’ve spent the last few years losing to acquire when they can just wait and sign him after next season. Sure, the Cubs have said they’re going to have money to spend this winter, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make the leap from 65 wins a season to 95 over one summer, either.
There’s a risk that Price will get traded somewhere else before then and sign an extension, but that’s not exactly a stake through the heart of the Cubs rebuild process.
If Price is off the market that won’t stop the Cubs from being able to sign Max Scherzer this winter. Hell, Scherzer may actually be the better option than Price. Yes, he’s a year older, but even so he’s only thrown 23 more innings in his career than Price has, and he’s made at least 30 starts a season every year since 2009, never pitching less than 170 innings. Scherzer also has the higher WAR over the last three seasons (14.3 to 12.3), so he might actually make more sense than Price.
He could cost more money annually — Scott Boras is his agent after all — but he wouldn’t cost a damn thing as far as prospects are concerned.
And there isn’t much point in having an ace on your pitching staff if you don’t have a lineup capable of scoring any runs for him. Just ask the White Sox.
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