A David Price Trade To The Cardinals: A Match Without Oscar Taveras?
Rays ace David Price is having a career year. A 6-7 record masks how dominant the left-hander has been, but a 2.55 xFIP and 10.29 K/BB ratio tells the story. With his value peaking and free agency looming after the 2015 season, it’s time for Tampa Bay to explore a David Price trade. St. Louis is rumored as a frontrunner for the soon-to-be All-Star and pairing him with Adam Wainwright would form a knock out pairing capable of carrying a terrible hitting Cardinals team through to the World Series. But can a trade happen without including top-3 prospect Oscar Taveras [SCOUTING REPORT]?
Cardinals fans want to have their cake and eat it too by making a David Price trade while keeping Taveras. It’s difficult to blame them considering the amount of pitching talent to come up through the system in recent years. Jason Motte, Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez, Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha, Marco Gonzales and others have risen through the system. This bounty of riches would cause any prospect follower to believe developing pitchers is easy.
Without including Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals still have the talent to trade for David Price. However, it would cost St. Louis four players. The great thing about ROTOscouting and fantasy baseball fueled by baseball scouting is our trade speculation is cultivated from the ballpark. When seeing players in person, trade targets will closely resemble what MLB teams covet.
Stephen Piscotty, Right Field
The Rays entered the 2014 season with an outfield expected to perform well. Unfortunately, Wil Myers struggled before hitting the disabled list and both Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings have experienced drops in production. When David Dejesus (now injured) is a team’s most productive outfielder, it’s a problem. Kevin Kiermaier has been better in MLB than in Triple-A (never a good sign), but he’s had an explosive debut and has earned a long look. Even so, this is an outfield in need of fresh faces. Stephen Piscotty fits the Rays mold as a solid all-around performer. The sum of the parts outweigh the loudness of the tools. At the Major League level, strong batting averages with moderate power is expected.
Kolten Wong, Second Base
Wong has disappointed due to injury and appears to be in the Cardinals’ doghouse. With Ben Zobrist as a trade candidate and Tim Beckham out for the year, the top-100 prospect would fit the roster well as another strong batting average player with gap power. Yes, it would leave a hole in St. Louis’ future plans, but it makes sense for the team to pursue an upgrade at second base as well. Does it make sense for the Cardinals to add an extra player in a Price package and acquire Zobrist too?
Tim Cooney, Starting Pitcher
Cooney has had an up-and-down year with Triple-A Memphis. After sailing through Double-A, it’s his first taste of adversity at the MILB level. In an April start where temperatures approached freezing, the left-handed pitcher’s stuff was down. However, a conversation with the pitching coach the next day had him discussing a pitcher who sat 90-92 MPH with a strong secondary arsenal. Even as a future 4/5 starter, he’d fit nicely in a rotation of Alex Cobb, Matt Moore, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi. Of course Jeremy Hellickson is injured, but is more trade chip than rotation stalwart going forward. No David Price trade will happen without arms heading to Tampa Bay.
Alex Reyes, Starting Pitcher
The Rays aren’t known for playing the lottery, so adding a potential impact arm as a fourth piece makes sense for the organization. Bob Usselman scouted Reyes in April and came away impressed with the right-hander’s ability to touch the mid-90’s and ability to flash a hammer curveball. Alex Reyes is the epitome of a high risk, high reward player and caps a strong David Price trade package.
Recapping The David Price Trade Chips
On the surface, three prospects who’ve been ranked in the top-100 plus a back end starter is a steep price to pay for David Price in terms of talent and team control. However, the only impact talent in the group is Reyes and the list of explosive arms in Single-A who’ve flamed out is long. In Wong, Piscotty and Cooney, the Rays add three average-to-above average regulars and a restock a depleted minor league system. Admittedly, the Rays will want Oscar Taveras, Carlos Martinez or even Marco Gonzales in return, but this four player for one David Price trade allows the St. Louis Cardinals to deal from depth and the Rays to restock and deal pieces whose salaries will escalate.
26 Jun 2014 / Mike Newman /
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