Make the Call, Sandy: David Price
October, 22, 2013
By Mark Simon | ESPNNewYork.com
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesDavid Price would certainly be an attention-getting grab for the Mets.
This offseason will be a pivotal one for the Mets as the team has both money to spend and needs to fill. But not all will be solved by shopping for free agents. Sandy Alderson may have to make a trade or two to net the kind of player the Mets want and need.
Among those they would have interest in are Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies and Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. But those players are not on the market.
Who might be available from a "pie in the sky" perspective for you to pine for this winter? We take a look at a few possibilities and allow you to weigh in on whether Alderson should make the call to pursue a deal.
Position: Starting Pitcher
Age: 28 (turns 29 in August)
2013 Numbers: 10-8, 3.33 ERA in 27 starts for Rays
Why he would be available: The Rays have a history of trading pitchers two years prior to their hitting free agency in order to net the best return. They've done so recently with both James Shields and Matt Garza. Price now has two seasons left before free agency and he figures his days with the Rays are done.
Pros: Price's appeal is obvious. He is among the game's top starting pitchers over the last four seasons. He has a 3.02 ERA over the last four seasons (in which he's averaged 31 starts) pitching for a team in the hitter-heavy AL East. He has very good strikeout numbers, an AL-low walks per nine in 2013 and doesn't allow a lot of home runs. He's in the prime of his career and has significant big-game experience.
There isn't much to dislike, especially considering how well Price pitched after returning from a triceps injury (a 2.53 ERA in his last 18 starts of the season).
Cons: The Mets would only have Price for two years, unless they wanted to sign him to a contract along the lines of what Justin Verlander is getting (he's due $160 million over the next six seasons) or Clayton Kershaw may get (the rumor mill says a $30 million per year deal). And for one of those years, the Mets wouldn't have Matt Harvey (recovering from surgery) to provide a 1-2 punch to the rotation.
The Mets have a history of making blockbuster deals for premier left-handed starters (Mike Hampton and Johan Santana) but the circumstances of those trades was different in that the Mets were prime pennant contenders the years those deals were made. A deal for Price would be one step towards contention, but many others would still be necessary. The Mets might not have the inventory to make all the deals they want.
The cost: We asked ESPN Insider and former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden what the cost would be to land Price. He pointed out that the demand will be high and that in order for the Mets to compete, the deal would almost surely have to include Zack Wheeler as the primary chip.
Should Sandy "make the call?" This would be a more logical consideration if Harvey were healthy and the Mets could take a shot at Price knowing that he'd have company atop the rotation. We say pass, not because of the quality of the player, but because the price (pardon the pun) would not be right.
What do you think? Should the Mets pursue a trade for David Price, and if so, what should they give up? Share your thoughts in the comments.