Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher David Price will be on the move. There are several possible destinations for Price but a trade is looming at the Winter Meetings which start tonight at 9 P.M. Eastern Time.
The Cleveland Indians are definitely in the market for Price. There are concerns about his lofty contract. He will be paid over $10 million a year and this is the sort of thing the Indians usually shy away from. There is little to no chance the Indians can keep him past 2015. However, the need for a Starting pitcher is very high considering Scott Kazmir is off the radar and Ubaldo Jimenez may not return to the Indians. As it stands, the Indians need two Starting Pitchers in addition to a Relief Pitcher and Closer. Acquiring Price would be a huge offseason victory for the Indians.
The Indians still have money left over from last year’s major television deal with Fox Sports Ohio which can ease the burden a lot. However, with 4 major needs, the Indians will likely have to use most of the budget, leaving little wiggle room for emergencies, injuries to the pitching staff. The Indians could decide to be careful with addressing their major needs or they may decide to go all in and use up most of the budget.
With several infield prospects that could be dealt, a “rental trade” for Price may actually be very likely. The Rays need a shortstop. The Indians can provide that with their minor league Shortstop Dorssys Paulino. The Rays will also want a catcher and that could mean Catcher/Infielder Tony Walters could be dealt.
Also, the Rays could inquire about Asdrubal Cabrera who has been inconsistent at times. The Indians may be more than happy to deal him away to the Rays.
A potential deal could look like this:
Rays get: SS: Dorssys Paulino, C/INF- Tony Walters, SS Asdrubal Cabrera
Indians get: SP David Price
The Indians can definitely deal Cabrera since Mike Aviles stepped up and they can always move Francisco Lindor to the Indians bench while giving him some playing time. The Indians have talked about moving Carlos Santana to third base. Aviles is the current third baseman but he can be moved to shortstop, while moving Santana to third base.
There has been speculation that Santana could be dealt to the Rays but that could present risk as teams generally want two catchers available since it is a position that puts a player at high risk of injury. Yan Gomes is now the Indians top Catcher but having a solid backup with experience is a must. Santana’s throwing arm and plate consistency need improvement but he has the experience.
Other destinations for Price
The Seattle Mariners could try to make a trade for Price after their huge free agent acquisition of Robinson Cano if they have the budget and pieces to make it happen. The Cincinnati Reds are also a possible destination.