According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, who sent out a tweet after the St. Louis Cardinals‘ 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night baseball, the idea of pursuing both Evan Longoria and David Price is being tossed around parts of the St. Louis organization. If the Cardinals landed both Price and Longoria, it would be one of the most surprising deadline trades in baseball history.
But is it possible? If Tampa were to even consider trading Longoria, the asking price would be astronomically high. Let’s look at the details of the potential deal.
Longoria is in the first year of a massive contract, as he is due somewhere in the neighborhood of $95 million over the next five and a half years. If the Cardinals managed to land him along with Price, the team would presumably be taking on almost $200 million in just two contracts.
Sure St. Louis could trade away a large part of the organization’s young talent, but the deal still wouldn’t make sense money-wise. It is, however, a romantic notion for Redbirds fans to think about. Moving the talented Matt Carpenter back to second would make room for the superstar Longoria at third base, and the St. Louis lineup would be significantly more talented than it is now — not to say that it isn’t talented enough. The Cards are tied for first in the Central, mind you.
But who’s to say that the Tampa Bay Rays would even agree to such a monumental deal? In the eyes of Tampa fans, it would seem as if the team was giving up or performing the ultimate sell-job, not only giving up the team’s two most talented players, but presumably locking their Rays in the cellar of the AL East for the next handful of years. Olney did conclude his tweet by saying that there was “zero indication” that the deal was “actually being discussed with Tampa Bay,” meaning that there is absolutely no indication the Rays have even agreed to ponder this idea.
So what did this sudden idea of a blockbuster deal do besides create a ton of clamor around the fact that a powerhouse club like the Cardinals is interested in Longoria? It proves that the Cards are the front-runners for landing Price.
Olney sent out another Price-related tweet earlier in the day, indicating that the deciding factor in a potential deal for the ace comes down to “which teams decide to be aggressive.” Well, tossing around the idea of adding Price and also Longoria isn’t just aggressive, it’s ultra-aggressive.
Ultimately, the Cardinals probably aren’t going to be able to reach a deal with the Rays for Longoria. Tampa’s third baseman is the face of a franchise that has some bright years ahead. Those bright years in Tampa, however, probably won’t be experienced by Price. Trade negotiations around the lefty are heating up, and it sounds like the Cardinals are the favorites to land the ace at this point.
A 1-2 punch of Adam Wainwright and Price would carry the Cardinals deep into the playoffs when October rolls around.