Making his 17th start of the season, Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price took on the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon and twirled an absolute gem, leading the Rays to a 5-1 victory over the Bucs. Price’s name, as all MLB fans should know by now, has been popping up quite frequently in trade talks recently. Today he showed teams that are interested in trading for his services just how much he can bring to the table — not that there was ever any question about that before.
The 28-year-old Price finished the day with a line of 8.1 innings pitched, five hits, one earned run, one walk and 11 strikeouts. The one earned run came on an Andrew McCutchen home run in the top of the ninth inning. After today, Price has a record of 6-7 with a 3.63 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP and a whopping 144 Ks already. Price’s career high for strikeouts is 218, which he set back in 2011. He is well on his way to eclipsing that total if he can stay healthy.
Price, who won the American League Cy Young award as well as the ERA title back in 2012, is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, and some believe that the perfect time for the Rays to move him is right now. The Rays were expected to contend for an AL East crown this season, but they have struggled mightily and currently find themselves at the very bottom of their respective division. There is no doubt that Rays fans have enjoyed watching Price dominate since he first made his debut back in 2008, but dealing him could yield the type of young, impact prospects that could help their team contend for many years to come.
Due to the fact that Price is a big, front-of-the-rotation lefty with a Cy Young award under his belt, the possibility of him being moved before the deadline feels eerily similar to when the Cleveland Indians dealt C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers during the summer of 2008. Even though Sabathia was only a Brewer for a few months, everyone knows how important he was to that club down the stretch of the 2008 season, going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA in 17 starts. It is not a stretch to suggest that Price could help out a team in a similar fashion by going on the same type of run, and the fact that he will remain under team control through next season will likely be seen as an added bonus.