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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dodgers, Cardinals lead race for top trade deadline pitchers Lester, Price - CBSSports.com

The Dodgers and Cardinals have been talking to the Rays for weeks about Price too. It was reported by USA Today the Cardinals may have offered top hitting prospect Oscar Taveras and young starter Shelby Miller in a package for Price, who’s value is a bit higher than Lester’s because Price can’t become a free agent until the end of next year while Lester becomes a free agent after this season.

The Dodgers also have excellent prospects, led by shortstop Corey Seager, outfielder Joc Pederson and pitchers Julio Urias and Chris Anderson.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2014 at 09:47 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, dodgers, rays, red sox, trade rumors

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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4760323)
Hard to say from our perspective, but I wonder if the Red Sox are exploring expanding a Lester deal to address other needs a contending team might need, in order to get more/better prospects. The Sox have an awful lot of people of varying value that could address specific needs for a contender:

- Lester gives you a left-handed ace for two months who is on a very hot streak
- Lackey gives you a reliable, above-average, durable right-handed veteran with World Series experience who is signed for 2015 at $500K
- Carp gives you a cheap bat who can hit right-handers, and will be cheap next year, as well
- Gomes gives you a bat who has historically hit lefties, no commitment beyond 2014
- Andrew Miller has been crazy this year, unhittable against lefties, no commitment beyond 2014
- Badenhop has been quietly effective this year, is cheap, no commitment beyond 2014, and induces lots of ground ball outs
- If you want to take a flier on a relief pitcher that the Sox would likely be willing to eat the money on, you could get Mujica or Breslow for very little. Both have been highly effective in the recent past, but not in 2014.
- Although the Sox do not seem inclined to trade him, if you wanted one of the best closers in the game, Uehara could be available, as well. He has been amazing over the last few years, and probably has fewer miles on his arm than about any 39-year-old could have (he throws very few pitches per inning. Actually, he has averaged less than 3.2 batters faced per inning in 2013-2014)

You could theoretically address several needs effectively in one deal with the Red Sox (say, Lester, Miller, Carp, and Badenhop) for two top-tier prospects. If Tavares and a quality pitcher are on the table, I'd be very interested...
   2. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4760329)
The potential availability of both Lester and Price drives down the expected return of both, making it more likely that both remain where they are (which is what I expect will be the case).

In Price's case especially, the Rays are not out of the race, he's under contract for next year, and after that they will have a comp pick coming back to them (if--big if--he stays healthy that long.) I can't imagine anyone is going to bid enough for Price's services to convince Tampa to let him go.
   3. Davo Dozier Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4760342)
The Rays--having won 20 of their last 26--are not trading David Price. Just not seeing it--and I'm surprised there are still people who think that might happen.
   4. DKDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4760350)
Despite winning 21 of their last 27, the Rays have only gained 3.5 games on the Orioles in that stretch. They have to finish out the season 37-18 to get to 90 wins, which is a 109 win pace over a full season. It’s still an uphill battle.

I don’t think the Rays are trading Price either, but I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility.

It seems like the Orioles are out on Lester, which I’m happy to see, given the Red Sox reported demands.
   5. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4760351)
You know, one of the very few advantages of working in a small market is that there aren't any fans to revolt--supposing someone made a stupid offer for Price, suppose the Cubs offered three top-25 prospects or something, Friedman can make that trade with a look toward the future and fan outrage isn't going to oust him from his job. You'd never get away with trading Price at any, well, price if you were in the same position but running the Red Sox.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4760369)
Friedman can make that trade with a look toward the future and fan outrage isn't going to oust him from his job.


I think its more that Friedman has built up a reputation of knowing what he's doing and the fans trust him.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4760383)
Hard to say from our perspective, but I wonder if the Red Sox are exploring expanding a Lester deal to address other needs a contending team might need, in order to get more/better prospects.


Yes, I think this makes sense. I also think it makes sense for the Sox to offer to pay all the salaries of the guys they are trading away (even if the salaries aren't particularly high). The Sox should be targeting quality return versus quantity or salary savings, and bundling might help that goal.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: July 30, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4760386)
Friedman can make that trade with a look toward the future and fan outrage isn't going to oust him from his job.


The Mets traded RA Dickey coming off his CYA season and riding a crest of outrageous popularity. Didn't seem to bother the fans too much.
   9. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4760405)
I think most of the fans regarded Dickey the same way Sandy Alderson did: as awesomely fun but a fluke whose fairy dust was due to run out any day now. I could be misremembering or just wrong.

People love knuckleballers, but nobody really respects them. Never have, never will.
   10. Hank G. Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4760407)
Doesn’t it seem a bit hinky that Lester has said that he would be open to resigning with the Red Sox next year even if they trade him? Doesn’t that make him the ultimate rent a player?
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4760418)
Why wouldn't he be open to returning to Boston?
   12. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4760423)
All Lester really said was that sure, he'd sign with the Red Sox if they offered him the most money. Which is almost universally true and thus a nonstory. The only example I can recall of a free agent declining to sign with a specific team that offered the most money was Cliff Lee turning down the Yankees.

Also--the Cliff Lee example reminds me of this point--even if Lester secretly has some reason to despise Boston and would never sign there in a million years, he wouldn't say so. Why throw away a perfectly good chance to have them bidding up his price?
   13. Chip Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM (#4760425)
If you're a pending free agent, pre-emptively removing one of the big market teams from the list of bidders risks depressing the final price tag for your services.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4760429)
All Lester really said was that sure, he'd sign with the Red Sox if they offered him the most money. Which is almost universally true and thus a nonstory. The only example I can recall of a free agent declining to sign with a specific team that offered the most money was Cliff Lee turning down the Yankees.

Also--the Cliff Lee example reminds me of this point--even if Lester secretly has some reason to despise Boston and would never sign there in a million years, he wouldn't say so. Why throw away a perfectly good chance to have them bidding up his price?


Yes. FA comes down to the highest bid, 99% of the time.

Guys who have such a strong preference to stay in a city take a below market extension before reaching FA (e.g. Pedroia).
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4760430)
Rosenthal says its likely Red Sox trade Lackey. That's kinda surprising to me. I'm guessing if he's dealt, his new team re-works his contract next year into an extension of some sort. No way he plays for the league minimum.
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4760449)
The Sox should be targeting quality return versus quantity or salary savings, and bundling might help that goal.


The Sox have a lot of prospects, including many legit starting pitching prospects in AAA and AA. The problem? They all appear to be #3 starter-types. This is a really valuable prospect to have, but acquiring more of that is not helping the organization. They have two legit catching prospects, one of whom (Swihart) is generally considered one of the two best C prospects in the game. They have Bogaerts, Betts, Holt, Cecchini, and others in the queue already among rookies, and Pedroia set at 2B for a long time to come. It's not that Boston needs prospects (they are in the top 3 among farm systems). What they could use are very specific prospects (a power-hitting 1B, or a corner OF with some power). Their system lacks home run power...that limits the teams with prospects of interest to Boston. Pittsburgh actually seems like the best match of need for Lester, and good OF prospects...
   17. DKDC Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4760478)
Prospects don’t really work that way. Most of those guys listed in #16 are probably going to fail – maybe total busts or maybe just short of being a major league regular.

The Red Sox seem to be in the top 5 or 10 of the farm system rankings every year, but they haven’t graduated an above average major league regular in, what, 5 or 6 years? That’s just the nature of the beast for all teams, and the Red Sox don’t have some secret sauce that makes their prospects more successful than any other team.

They need more prospects of all kinds and in the unlikely case they have a glut at a particular position, that’s a pretty easy problem to solve.
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4760479)
I think most of the fans regarded Dickey the same way Sandy Alderson did: as awesomely fun but a fluke whose fairy dust was due to run out any day now. I could be misremembering or just wrong.


I think the bigger issue is that Dickey was 38 or 39 and the Mets were not on the cusp of contending so acquiring a bunch of kids made a lot of sense. I think Tampa's fans will be rightly pissed if they trade Price right now. Insert snarky comment about how many people that is and the impact of that here.
   19. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4760480)
supposing someone made a stupid offer for Price


You mean like Oscar Tavaras and Shelby Miller?
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4760500)
They need more prospects of all kinds and in the unlikely case they have a glut at a particular position, that’s a pretty easy problem to solve.


That's true, but if they are trading for close-to-the-majors prospects (or current major leaguers) and the overall value is similar, they should prefer an OF.

OF is their thinnest spot both in terms of prospects and at the major league level.
   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4760503)
Pittsburgh actually seems like the best match of need for Lester, and good OF prospects...


You take your filthy hands off of Gregory Polanco before I chop them off. He's OURS.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:32 PM (#4760505)
Stupid joke account.
   23. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4760515)
The Brewers broadcast just reported that Lester to the Pirates is a done deal. I really hope they were just fooled by a fake Twitter. I have a bad feeling about this...
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4760519)
The Brewers broadcast just reported that Lester to the Pirates is a done deal. I really hope they were just fooled by a fake Twitter. I have a bad feeling about this...


Oh, God dammit. I was hoping they wouldn't do something stupid like that.
   25. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4760523)
I can live with it as long as Polanco isn't involved. They couldn't possibly be dumb enough to trade Polanco for two months of Lester, right? Right? Please tell me they'd never do that. Please.

(I know they wouldn't--I THINK I know they wouldn't--but I'm mildly terrified that Polanco for Lester AND Lackey is in the realm of possibility.)
   26. The District Attorney Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4760524)
The only example I can recall of a free agent declining to sign with a specific team that offered the most money was Cliff Lee turning down the Yankees.
Maddux and the Yanks as well. Maybe Pujols and the Marlins, although who knows if they were just making #### up. And speaking of the Pirates, wasn't there one offseason where a few Grade C free agents turned down their highest offer? Like Edwin Jackson or something?

Anyway, not many, no argument there. There are, though, plenty of examples of re-signing with one's current team at a discount, which suggests that getting the guy on your team is an advantage, even if it's only for two months.

I really hope they were just fooled by a fake Twitter.
They were.
   27. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4760526)
Cliff Lee signed for the highest annual salary he was offered, so I doubt even that was something altruistic.
   28. mathesond Posted: July 30, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4760551)
Apparently the Cards just landed Justin Masterton, as per Gammons' Twitter

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