Jul 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) talks to fans before a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves: What Is The Price For David Price?

April 2, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles during opening day at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

 

An “Ace” – something every team wants, most teams don’t have, and a thing the Atlanta Braves are looking for.

This is a need it looks like Frank Wren is exploring.  Though not much in the tank, it won’t hurt to shop around.  The Braves have many young pitchers but are any of these number 1 guys?

During an interview with David O’Brien, Braves GM gives his take on if they could have used an ace down the stretch…

“Yeah I just think that, unfortunately, aces or top-of-the-rotation starting pitching is the most rare commodity, whether it’s the trade market or free agent market. And you look at this year’s free agent market, there really isn’t one of those guys in the free agent market. And whether there’s going to be one in the trade market, I don’t know. But we recognize that that’s an area of need and whether we can acquire that, prior to our young guys arriving here, I’m not sure because it’s very difficult to acquire.”

Talks have been floating around about the possibility of bringing in David Price to Atlanta – these talks have came, gone, shown up, left, surfaced again, and now just hovering.  If the rumors swirling around and no one knows whats going on, I reached out to our friends at Rays Colored Glasses to find out their take on this situation and just what it may take to acquire Mr. Price.

 

Tampa Bay has a history of trading their stars away to get quality players before they become free agents.  And David Price looks to be next on the list…who’s behind this theory and are you a fan of this system?

The Rays are always going to be grouped together with the small market mind-set that we all see year after year: a star gets too expensive and they trade him. At the end of the day, there is no argument that they do exactly that. But where the Rays differ from everyone else is their motivation to get those deals done.

 

The David Price rumors have been swirling around the web for a couple weeks now but the Rays system seems to keep quiet about this.  What is your take on this?  Will Price resign or will the Rays try to trade him?

April 2, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) reacts after he gave up a 2-run home run first inning against the Baltimore Orioles during opening day at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

April 2, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) reacts after he gave up a 2-run home run first inning against the Baltimore Orioles during opening day at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Rays should have traded David Price last offseason. They should have traded Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton before they hit free agency. Why didn’t they? Because their focus is never on rebuilding and always on making their present team as good as possible within their budget. The Rays don’t trade players because they can’t afford them, they trade them because they believe their value in a trade is worth more than what they provide their team.

You don’t trade with the Rays–you blow them away. You dangle your Wil Myers or Chris Archer and then brace yourself when the Rays ask for more. Other teams trade players because of time (years left under team control) and money. The Rays trade players purely based on value. If an overwhelming offer does not come along for David Price, the Rays will have no issues paying $13 million next year to have their ace for one more season. The thing about all these blockbuster deals is that a star departs, but the return always makes Rays fans happy–and not just for the future, but the present as well. I not only understand why the Rays do it, but I can’t get enough of it.

 

Looking at the Atlanta Braves system, we have a plethora of young pitchers who could turn out to be stars at the MLB level and some MLB ready now.  What do you think it will take to acquire David Price?  Starting pitching, relief pitchers, infielders, outfielders, catchers…..And, prospects, MLB players or MLB ready players?

Between the Matt Garza and James Shields trade, we have a pretty good idea of what the Rays will be going for. They want two premium prospects without a doubt, and from there they will ask for some combination of lottery ticket prospect and big league-ready backups. Here’s two potential trades I would throw out there.

1)  Tampa Bay Rays trade LHP David Price to the Atlanta Braves for RHP Julio Teheran, C Christian Bethancourt, RHP Cory Rasmus, and SS Jose Peraza.

2)  Tampa Bay Rays trade LHP David Price and UTIL Sean Rodriguez to the Atlanta Braves for RHP J.R. Graham, C Christian Bethancourt, 2B Tommy La Stella, MI Tyler Pastornicky, and SS Jose Peraza.

 

If the Braves don’t want to totally deplete their system, the Rays could be satisfied by getting simply one of the Braves’ young starters along with Bethancourt. Trading away Bethancourt may create a little pause for Braves fans with Brian McCann a free agent, but given the Rays’ need at the catcher position, he would be a shoe-in for the deal. After Bethancourt, would the Braves rather deal a pitcher like Teheran or deal a top prospect like Graham and also plenty more?

The first trade has the Braves giving up Teheran, Bethancourt, a replaceable reliever in Rasmus, and a lower-level prospect in Peraza. In the second trade, meanwhile, the Braves keep their actual big league arms but have to give up another good prospect in La Stella along with a depth piece in Pastornicky in return–although they would also get a pretty decent player in Rodriguez as a throw-in. (The Rays showed with Wade Davis and current Brave Elliot Johnson in the Wil Myers trade that they are willing to give up solid players to make these big trades happen.)

Either of those trades would be hard to stomach from a Braves standpoint…and would that even be enough with so many teams set to submit competitive offers? The cost of acquiring Price is significant, and even if the Braves do get him, are they willing to pay the necessary cost to extend him?  The Braves have so much young pitching, and it may be best for them to stick with what they have rather than deplete their system to deal for Price.

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  • aRunning_Maniac

    Seeing as how the Braves already traded away Cory Rasmus, that first package is not much of an option. Plus, the Braves aren’t going give up Teheran. Too young and too much upside there to part with.

    The second trade is an overpay. Packaging La Stella and Peraza together would be incredibly foolish, as you would be giving up two of the better hitting prospects in the system (something the organization cannot afford to easily deal away given the current state of the farm). And then to add Bethancourt to that, as well as Graham? That would do nothing but effectively hurt the Braves’ future. Two years of Price is not worth that, as good as the guy is.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Yeah, let’s assume he meant Cory Gearrin. That would at least be a rough parallel. But otherwise yes: those requests would be non-starters.

  • matt wilder

    I agree with your last sentence of your blog.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      I agree you gotta be careful, but I also believe you can do this and then mark time for a couple of years with a first-rate rotation while the lower minors ‘grow up’ to fill that gap.

      The implications of not doing so? Probably another 1st or 2nd round playoff exit… despite having spent a bunch of money to upgrade the offense.

  • fireboss

    As aRunning_Maniac noted Rasmus is long gone but there are a plethora of similar replacements in the system. I agree with him as well that La Stella and Peraza can’t both be traded and that Teheran is still too valued in the organization to part with. I hope Bethancourt won’t go either as the value of a superior defensive catcher who calls a good game is something the Cardinals’ and Yadier Molina have proven irreplaceable. So what does that leave us? A deal is still possible and desirable to move a strong rotation into the top flight with the Nationals, Dodgers and Cardinals.
    If a trade is what you want – I do because I don’t think we stay in the top team list without one – I think it can be done. But there will be a cost (notice I didn’t say Price) in terms of prospects. Keeping in mind that you have to a) fill a need b) give them value in terms of quality and controlability c) not rape the future in the process I’d suggest mixing package one and two with some slight alterations. Something like this.
    Tampa Bay Rays trade LHP David Price and UTIL Sean Rodriguez to the Atlanta Braves for RHP J.R. Graham, LHP Sean Gilmartin. C Evan Gattis, INF Tyler Pastornicky, and SS Jose Peraza.
    That’s two of our best prospects 2 players with major league experience including a power hitting catcher/1B/DH and a LHP who might do a lot better in Tampa’s pitching program than ours. There are others who could be thrown in as a PTBNL if needed.

    • Lee Trocinski

      Why would the Rays take that trade? That is nowhere near the package they got for Shields last year and I think Price is higher regarded. The Rays just got burned by trading for a pitcher with shoulder problems (Jesse Crain), so Graham is probably a sell-low case. Gilmartin is a finesse guy, and Hellickson is the only such pitcher they’ve had lately. Gattis is probably a platoon guy, as his K/BB ratio showed last year, who shouldn’t catch much, but is most valuable at that position. Pastornicky is a marginal starting 2B and most likely a useful utility guy. Peraza is really no different than Rev, but could develop a bit more. That’s not enough to pry an ace away, but the Braves shouldn’t give up much more. IMPACT players need to be part of the deal, and your proposal has one possible player.

      • fireboss

        You underestimate the Rays need for power they can control and Gattis is that wherever they play him. He’ll hit 25 homers or more and a similar number of doubles; pop they simply don’t have and can’t afford on the FA market. His numbers this year would have been second on their team and he only played 105 games. For a team that perpetually is the lower half of the league in runs scored that’s important. They have Lobaton for defense and can DH Gattis or play him at first to keep th ebat in the lineup. Graham may not be THE guy, maybe that’s Martin or Northcroft; they don’t necessarily need the arm to be major league ready next year. The rest fits their needs as presented above pretty well. Gilmartin is pretty much a substitute for Ramus but that could be Juan Jamie.

        • Lee Trocinski

          Gattis has power, but that’s it. They’d have to carry a 3rd catcher to let him DH, which hurts the other platoons Maddon normally applies. His OPS+ was equal to many of their regulars (Joyce, Scott, Jennings, Zobrist, and DeJesus). The Rays have also been AL average in runs the past 3 years, after factoring in their pitcher-friendly park. They could use the power, but it’s not important enough to give up too little for an “ace.”

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    When I looked at this trade last month, my offer centered around the major league staff… and with the proviso that Hudson is re-signed to create more ‘surplus’.

    Interesting… now I see the Fireboss’s idea, which is similar to mine, though I emphasize pitching in the deal:

    Start with 3 or 4 of: Alex Wood, David Hale, Graham, Gilmartin, Northcraft, Gus Schlosser, Cody Martin.

    As he also suggested, there’s a number of possibilities in the minors that could be used, particularly at the SS position – yes, Peraza. That _should_ “overwhelm” the Rays… and still leave us with a solid rotation of Price, Minor, Medlen, Beachy, and Teheran. Sorry, Tim.

    The premise of such a trade – according to Wren – would be to give space/time for the next aces to develop. Graham may have been on that list, but you sure want to hang on to Lucas Sims and Jason Hursh. I would also hold on to Shae Simmons.

    If Uggla is to be moved, then La Stella needs to be kept – partly for the future, partly to make the money work.

    The scouts are going to have to tell us if Bethancourt is a ‘must keep’ – which I suspect. There is no good backup plan for him, and I don’t really think you want Gattis being the primary catcher for the staff. Wren is sensitive to fan interest, though, and thus I’m sure he wants to keep Gattis… in some role.

  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    I’m not sure DP is worth what he’ll cost the Braves, regardless of what package might be put together. I’m not even sure I agree with the need for some “bonified” ace on the Braves’ staff, and as you all know how I feel about that word, I use it loosely. Every team needs to shore up their pitching, but I think the real need Atlanta has, and has had, is more offensive output, more power, and plugging up gaping holes at 2nd and CF. Yes, I know of the difficulties there, but those should have been priorities for awhile with the Braves. If they go all out to get DP, and don’t fix some other issues that are broken, one “ace” won’t matter.

  • Lewis

    Christian Bethancourt, Julio Teheren and Tommy Le Stella for Price could work

    • Lee Trocinski

      That is the package the Rays are looking for, but the Braves would be foolish to pay up that much. Teheran and his 5 years of team control is almost worth Price’s 2 years straight up, so giving up a probable starter at 2B and future catcher along with that is way too much. As we’ve said on here before, the lack of minor league depth will be too much to overcome for the Braves to get Price without making 2016 a disaster.

  • Matt Talbert

    Atlanta can’t afford to deal Betancourt IMO. If we had another good catching prospect behind him – I’d say make the move, or if we would then maybe flip a leftover arm like Gilmartin for a guy like Wieters then sure.

  • Matt Talbert

    Some sort of combination of La Stella, Gilmartin, Graham and one of Northcraft or Jaime or even a left handed reliever we have in surplus (if we resigned EOF we’ll have an abundance of riches)…I’d do that for sure in a second. Gilmartin would have to be sold, I don’t really like the guy’s long term plans….probably have to give up some decent talent, give the Rays a great MI with some good OBP (good replacement for Zobrist when he leaves) a cost-controlled lefty which suits a smaller market team, a good reliever to bridge the gap to a closer either Archer or someone of the like or a FA signing….T. Bay badly needs relief pitchinG IMO. Plus, one of our two good prospects in Graham. Still have Hursh, Simmons, Sims, Peraza, Cunningham and Salcedo (though his luster is about to run out) on the farm :D.

  • wallace1286

    we already let Huddy go , We are committed to go out and get an ace . aside from dealing Ugla and getting a second baseman that don’t strike out so much, Also Gattis as good as he hits Isn’t an everyday catcher.

    • fireboss

      I wish that were true but all we’re committed to is Minor, Medlen, Teheran, Beachy, and Hale or a veteran innings eater like Haren or Arroyo (who’ll cost more than Huddy) or… It could be something as simple as plugging Hale in and waiting until the ASG to see if it works.

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