A David Price Trade To The Red Sox? It’s A Great Fit!
The Boston Red Sox are on the periphery of a David Price trade, but have the goods to enter the running. Marred in last place six games below .500, the Red Sox do not appear to be a logical destination for the Tampa Bay Rays’ ace hurler. Throw in the ongoing feud between the left hander and David Ortiz and a match seems ridiculous. However, the 2013 World Champions are in retool mode. Feuds diminish when championships are at stake. It’s exciting to envision a Jon Lester-Price one-two punch in the Sox’ rotation if able to retain Lester’s services. If not, the Red Sox system is a strong example of what the Rays need to acquire.
On Monday, Mike Newman took a look at how the Rays and the Seattle Mariners matched up in a potential David Price trade. Theorizing that the Rays deal would need a true impact bat for Price, Mike dismissed the Mariners as an ideal trade option. However, he did identify the Rays inability to develop position players in their farm system. Since Longoria was drafted in 2007, the Rays have drafted 14 position players in the first round of the amateur draft. These position players have combined for 0.1 WAR. Similar to the James Shields trade which netted Wil Myers, pitching depth can be leveraged into bats when a team is unable to develop it from within.
The impact, middle-of-the-order bat will not be available in a potential Red Sox deal. Xander Bogaerts is untouchable in any trade package. What the Sox do have is a strong group of prospects who fit Rays’ mold — high on-base percentage players who have defensive ability.
Blake Swihart, Catcher
The Rays catching situation is in need of a makeover. Ryan Hanigan and Jose Molina are an uninspiring duo. The closest prospect with sustainable Major League staying power is Luke Maile, a Double-A backstop. Beyond that, former first round picks Justin O’Connor and Nick Ciuffo are in High-A and Rookie ball respectively. Having scouted Maile and O’Connor, neither player inspired with the bat. Enter Swihart. Scouting Swihart in the South Atlantic League, the tools were average across the board. However, the tools have played up and the switch hitter has made steady improvements at each level. With a catcher of the future coming from outside the organization, Maile and O’Connor have the opportunity to become solid back ups.
Mookie Betts, Second Base/Outfield
Betts’ meteoric rise over the past two seasons has many penciling the dynamic prospect in as the Red Sox’ future lead off hitter. In a 2012 report, Mike Newman loved Betts’ combination of tools and athleticism. He identified a player who “flashed gap power in game action in addition to above average plate discipline.” Scouting Betts last season, the gap power had materialized as a full time facet to his game. His plate discipline also graduated to elite status. Betts’ emergence leaves the right-handed hitter a multi-positional, all-around player. Betts is an incredible fit for the Rays who value versatility more than any other team.
Garin Cecchini, Third Baseman
With Evan Longoria at third base for years to come, Cecchini and the Rays seem like an unlikely match. However, the Rays have utilized gap hitters with defensive ability at first base for years. If Casey Kotchman and James Loney pass the sniff test in Tampa, Cecchini makes sense as a cost-controlled option for years to come. Much of Cecchini’s potential was on display scouting the left handed hitter in 2011. Cecchini has on-base skills and the ability to become an above average defender at first base.
Manuel Margot, Center Fielder
The Rays lack little in the way of athleticism in the lower minors. It’s Andrew Toles and nothing else. In fact, Toles has disappeared. Placed on the inactive list after on the field and off the field issues, the Rays best lower level prospect is the aforementioned Ciuffo in Rookie Ball. Margot would offer an upgrade over any other player in the lower minors. The best defensive center fielder scouted in A-Ball, Margot is a potential star player. With speed and an elite defensive profile, he’s a lottery ticket in the package for Price.
A David Price Trade: Packaging Red Sox Prospects To Complete A Deal
A package built around Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts is enough to headline a trade for Price. Each player is expendable given the Red Sox organizational depth (Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley respectfully) already manning big league positions. With catching at a premium, Boston may attempt to hold onto Swihart. Packaging Betts with Garin Cecchini, Manuel Margot and a pitcher like Allen Webster (Scouting Report).
For the Rays, the trade would act as a do-over for an organization with a terrible track record developing homegrown prospects. Receiving multiple MLB-ready talents would allow the Rays to explore deals for Ben Zobrist, Desmond Jennings and James Loney. Ultimately, a David Price trade being a win-win proposition for both teams even though it’s unlikely to happen. Regardless, it’s a strong representation of the type of talent expected to exchange hands.
24 Jul 2014 / Chris Blessing / 2
Categories: MLB Analysis
1-On-1 ROTO Strategy Session
The Best Of RS
- Can Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez Crack the Texas Rangers Opening Day Rotation?
- Fantasy Baseball Trade Deadline 101: A Former MLB GM’s Take
- Felix Hernandez and Solo Home Run Situations: A Blueprint For Longevity
- JR Graham: Is He Still An MLB Arm For The Atlanta Braves?
- Mason Williams: Is It Time To Label Him A Bust For The Yankees?
- Mike Newman's Top-50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects Scouted in 2014
- Nick Kingham Scouting Report (2014)
- Rangers Joey Gallo, Marlins Giancarlo Stanton And Strikeouts
- The ROTOscouting Baseball Podcast
- Top-10 Fantasy Baseball Prospects By Team
- Will Mike Moustakas Finally Put It Together Next Season?