A Candid Discussion About David Price And The Mets

An article by posted on October 8, 2013

david price

Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke with nine executives who think the Rays will trade their starting pitcher David Price this offseason. The scouts’ consensus was that the Rangers, Cubs and D-Backs were the favorites for successfully dealing for the elite 28-year old lefthander.

We had an email conversation about him late last night and this morning, and discussed whether or not the Mets had what it took to land David Price and tackled the question of should they?

Mike B.

This brought up a memory to share. So, in 2007 I attended the winter meetings as an employee for the Hudson Valley Renegades which were (still are) the Short-A affiliate for the Tampa Bay Rays. Each club holds a dinner for their affiliates, and you usually get some obscure team executive that comes to it and pretends they give a crap about you, the lowly minor league worker. Pretty small dinner when you figure maybe each teams sends 2-4 reps at most?

This dinner was different though. Guests included Andrew Friedman, Mitch Lukevics and Stu Sternberg. Also in attendance were two key figures for the organization as they looked excited about their future… Joe Maddon & David Price.

It was easily one of my favorite real baseball moments before I chose to leave the sport in 2008. Friedman got up and spoke about the organization building from within and giving the farm teams a product that people will want to pay to see – David Price was introduced and stood up and waved.

So I had a chance to speak 1 on 1 with Maddon, Lukevics and Price. Anyway – what I got from that night other than the chats was that Tampa Bay really, and I mean really valued Price. Not like they value a guy like James Shields – I’m talking the way the Nationals value Strasburg. Price & Longoria were the franchise. If you look at what the Rays got for James Shields, you have to pump the brakes a bit on Price for this reason.

They KNOW why they are trading a guy. They aren’t doing it because they just want to get younger, they are doing it because they know by trading him they can actually get better.

People praised the deal of Shields for KC, here they are competing finally yada yada. And they had a good year, but where is Tampa right now? Who looks like the best rookie in the sport? Wil Myers. Shields doesn’t even compare to Price in terms of talent. Shields is three years older than Price…

They aren’t trading guys like Shields away because they can’t afford him – they are doing it because their GM has a background in trading and investing and he understands that Wil Myers for the next 5 years will be better than anything James Shields can give them because he’s confident in his farm system.

If James Shields and Wade Davis net you Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi then Noah Syndergaard is going to have to bring a significant friend with him to Tampa if you want David Price. I really like Price, but I also see what Tampa does with guys like Price… Shields, Garza for example – they are getting rid of them for a reason and it’s not money, it’s a lack of confidence in them maintaining their talent much past 30.

I’m passing on Price because the Rays have proven they know what they are doing when trading these guys. They’ve proven it’s not about $, it’s about talent.

Xtreem

My question to Mike is if the money’s there if they need it, then why are they at this point with Price? The Rays NEVER let their top guys get to arbitration, let alone year 3. Why no long term deal?

I think Friedman is the best GM in baseball, but the idea that he doesn’t think much of guys past 30 isn’t what sets him apart. Most GMs think that way. I think Price saw Longo’s first deal and Moore’s deal and thought they were suckers. I think this is mostly about money.

As far as trading Syndergaard, the answer is yes, but not blindly. If the Rays want Synd, Flores, Puello and another pitcher, then no. The deal has to make sense, obviously. No one, not even Wheeler, is exempt, but I’m not giving up 20 years or so of control on several top players for one pitcher.

I definitely think the Mets should be in. I think they should get Hak Ju Lee, as well. But any deal for Price has to come with a window for an extension, a la Johan. No extension, no deal.

Mike B.

They aren’t willing to pay him because they do not see him being worth the dollars over the next 5-7 years. They aren’t willing to make a poor investment when they expect him to decline. They had to sign Longoria for the same reason the Mets had to sign Wright. Longoria is their franchise and their franchise has such a terrible history that keeping the guy most recognizable with your brand is vital.

Price’s K/9 went down but his perceived value will be based laregely on name recognition. If Romero turns out to be the pitcher they think, they will be fine by 2015. Especially if somebody like the Mets gives them a kid like Syndergaard.

The reason the Rays can do this is they have confidence in their development, and they aren’t afraid to sell high on a player like Price whom we know is going to decline soon. That is what will continue to set them apart. We look at Price and think we’ll get the 24-26 year old version, they look at Price and know he’ll never be that pitcher again and they are willing to move on from him.

If they WANTED to pay him, they would.

Xtreem

Would you agree they will want more for Price than they got for Shields?

Joe D.

I wouldn’t think twice about trading Thor and more for Price. The Rays got the number one ranked prospect in baseball for Shields. The Mets got Thor and D’Arnaud for Dickey… Price is infinitely better than either of them…. And he’s worth it…

Mike B.

Absolutely. Myers is a stud, but Jake O was basically a throw in. So Synd is fine, and maybe a couple of lower level guys. But if they want three of the top five guys, that’s not acceptable for me.

DrDooby

Certainly a tempting idea, adding an ace lefthander who is 28 years old… That said, Price is under control for two more years. His average fastball velocity declined from 94.8 mph in 2011 and 95.5 in 2012 to a “mere”, yet still very good 93.5 in 2013. His velocity was also a tad down in the recent playoff game vs. Boston, more in the 92 mph range. Price did miss a few weeks this summer with a sore elbow.

I´m not sure that trading for him AND giving him a 6-year, $150 million type contract is the smartest of moves, regardless of the package he may require. It might be somewhat similar to acquiring Johan Santana or C.C. Sabathia in their late 20s.

Of course, he´s one of the Top 10 starting pitchers in the  game when healthy and could give the Mets a rotation anchor going forward. A 2014 rotation of Price – Wheeler – Niese – Gee – scrap heap veteran or Mejia / Montero looks pretty good.

Mike B.

If Shields took Wil Myers then Price should take more than Noah. If you’re telling me you are confident in two things (as confident as you can be about young players)

A) Syndergaard can be a legit #2
B) Harvey will be an ace in 2015.

Then why are you trading for Price? Because he’s a name and will get paid a big contract? And makes you feel better about things?

David Price doesn’t play the outfield, 1B or SS right? If you’re trading Noah, can you do better for players that you actually need – not covet?

If you BELIEVE in Harvey 2015, Niese, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Gee, and all the other kids – then you do not need Price. Of course he’s a legit ace – but how does he solve any of the issues you have in the field?

Joe D.

Mike, The answer is pretty simple. Pitching wins.

I don’t see the Mets as losing Noah (an unproven prospect) and an injury prone catching prospect who’s now 25, and a Flores who ultimately has no position.

I see them gaining a Big Three of Harvey, Price, Wheeler for 2015 that will be the best threesome in the NL through 2020.

Throw in Matz and Montero at 4-5 and this team will be unstoppable. You like Niese and Gee? Matz and Montero will be infinitely better than each…

So if 2015 is the goal, get Price… Swap Gee or Niese for a power bat now… See what develops in 2014… See if Puello is as legit as everyone thinks…

Xtreem

Mike, I don’t buy it. Rotations have five pitchers. Price doesn’t need to be better than Harvey or Niese, he needs to be better than Gee or Hefner.

If you’d rather trade him for Profar, I’m behind that 100% but to pretend that a top ten pitcher year in and year out can’t help doesn’t make sense to me.

Joe D.

Exactly… I’m with X on that…

This isn’t Shields, it’s David Price and he just turned 28 last month…

Imagine him moving from the AL East to the NL East?

He’d win back to back Cy Youngs

Plus, you guys may not know this, but DePo initially drafted him out of high school, but he opted to go to college. I bet DePo would be all over him…

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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