According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Dodgers have vocally reached out to the Tampa Bay Rays with explicit interest in a potential trade for their starting pitcher, David Price. Although the likelihood of this trade happening is rather low, it is very telling of the organization’s impatience on the posting of Japanese superstar, Masahiro Tanaka.
The most recent reports about the Japanese pitcher include the same old message: “Wait.” The Japanese professional league has been ironing out the kinks in the new posting system for quite some time and MLB teams must simply wait patiently to make an offer for Tanaka. The problem that waiting creates for the Dodgers and all teams looking for a starting pitcher is that every passing day means another opportunity to sign or trade could slip away. No team wants to wait too long and miss the chance to make a deal while waiting for the opportunity to be one of many teams in the running for Tanaka.
The Dodgers’ offer for Price is really more of a way of saying, “Hey! If you guys are thinking about shopping him, let us know.” This passive-aggressive statement says more of the team’s worry about having to wait so long on Tanaka than it does about their interest in Price. To trade for the Rays’ starter would likely mean cleaning out the already-depleted farm system, so the Dodgers would much rather sign a free agent.
Alas, with the free agent market running thin on quality starting pitchers, Los Angeles is doing everything possible to ensure the team is not left with nothing at the end of the process. Expect the Dodgers to make some moves, but, if you are a Dodgers fan, hope that it is not a trade for David Price. Tanaka is worth waiting for, even if it means eventually not getting him and having to pick up someone worse than both Tanaka and Price.
The Dodgers must remember that they already have one of the best starting rotations in the majors with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jun Ryu and the newly acquired Dan Haren. A fifth starter of an All-Star caliber would be fantastic, but not at the price of Price. Wait for Tanaka and if he does not choose Los Angeles, work with what you have got.