Rumors are saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates are among several teams interested in acquiring David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays. Passan also lists some other potential suitors to be the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and “others”. The Pirates have more than enough trade pieces to be able to acquire Price, but would it be a good idea?
Whether it would or would not be a good idea is a difficult question to answer — there are two ways to look at it from the Pirates’ perspective: The present and the future.
Price has two more years of control before being eligible for free agency. The Pirates would have one of the top-five pitchers in MLB for two full seasons unless they decide to part ways with him before he hits free agency for some reason. Trading for Price would be an incredible move for the present, but for the future? It seems like a questionable move at best.
To trade Price, the Rays would surely ask for a huge bundle of prospects in return. Any potential package for the Rays’ ace lefty would most likely start with Jameson Taillon or Tyler Glasnow, two very high upside starting pitchers. The package wouldn’t end there, either. The Rays would also want a few second-tier prospects from the Bucs as well. Trading for Price could possibly hurt the Pirates in the long run.
Bringing another great lefty to PNC Park along with Francisco Liriano would give the Pirates a deadly one-two lefty punch in their rotation. PNC Park plays extremely well for left-handed pitchers because the park plays extremely deep for right-handed batters. With the short porch in right field that favors left-handed hitters so much, it helps to have southpaw pitchers to cancel the lefty hitters out.
In 2013, Price went 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA and a 3.03 FIP. His peripherals were very good as well, with 7.28 K/9 and 1.30 BB/9. If he were to play in a great ballpark for left-handed pitchers in the National League, there is great reason to believe that his numbers would improve over last season’s.
So, to sum it up, there are two ways to look at a potential Price trade. Do you care about the next two seasons, or do you care about keeping the prospects around to help sustain success for many more years? If you want to enter full “win-now” mode, you’re probably praying for a Price trade. If you like stockpiling prospects, you are probably shaking your head at the possibility.