Los Angeles, for the most part of this season, has received solid starting pitching from their mix of established veterans and young unproven arm in their rotation as they rank in the top 10 in the league in several pitching categories. Among the other starting pitching rotation in the MLB, they hold the 1oth best ERA (3.68), seventh in innings pitched (433.0), third in strikeouts (386), second in BAA (.230), and seventh in wins (28). These type of numbers are encouraging given that the Halos’ staff features three pitchers in their first seasons as full-time starters.
Although these statistics are promising and have been a major reason for their early-season success, there have also been issues with starting rotation such as the play of Hector Santiago. The 26-year-old has had a rough first two months of his Angels’ career as he is 0-7 with a 4.44 ERA in nine starts made in 2014. His poor performance on the mound at one point led to his demotion from the rotation and had him sent down for a stint in the minors. This was not at all the type of pitcher Los Angeles hoped to get when they obtained him from the Chicago White Sox this past offseason.
Along with the injury to Tyler Skaggs, who is on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain, this makes the move for Price a must for the Halos if they hope to keep their playoff aspirations alive. If they are seriously interested in acquiring the former Cy Young winner, right now would be the perfect time as the Rays are currently in last place in the AL East with a 28-44 record and are 13 games behind the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays. As for Price, despite picking up his level of play in three starts in June with a 2.70 ERA, he has a 5-6 record with a 3.96 ERA on the season.
What makes a deal with the Angels a possibility is prospect first baseman C.J. Cron, who has played well in the majors since being called up on May 3rd, evidenced by his .275 batting average, three home runs and 15 RBIs. He has shown promise to be a middle-of-the-lineup type of player who could hit 30-plus home runs and drive in 100-plus runs each season in the majors for years to comes. This alone makes him an appealing prospect for the Rays, who have been looking for a player to put in the lineup behind their All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria.
With that said, any deal for Price would have to include Cron and possibly another prospect. It may be a risk to trade Cron, but the chance to acquire a proven pitcher with Price’s ability does not come by often. He is only 28 years old and has many more years where he will still be in the prime of his career. Yes, he has not played at his 2012 Cy Young level but a change of scenery could be what he needs to get back on track as an elite pitcher in the league.
It is a risky move to trade an up-and-coming prospect, but with the chance to get a pitcher like Price, it may be the move that puts them in contention for a World Series title this season. A starting rotation that features Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Price to go along with their top-10 offense would immediately put them in the category as a powerhouse in the American League with the likes of the Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics.
What also may play in the Angels’ favor is that Price will likely hit the free agent market in 2015. If the Rays believe they won’t be able to sign the right hander to a long-term deal, a trade could be in line for them in order to avoid being left empty-handed when he departs after this season.
The bottom line is that Price may be available, and if so, the Angels must make a move to acquire him.
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