Passan: Pirates interested in David Price

Jeff Passan just filed a column for Yahoo! saying that the Rays are expected to seriously look at trading David Price at next week's winter meetings, and that the Pirates are one of the teams interested in trading for him. This is one of those reports that I think come with a lot of caveats, so let's lay it all out. Of course the Pirates are interested in David Price; he's one of the best pitchers in baseball and he's two years away from free agency. Even better, he's left-handed and PNC Park is built for left-handed pitchers. A rotation with Price, Francisco Liriano, and Gerrit Cole at the top of it would be absurd next year. Tampa Bay's potential trade partners are also awfully limited when it comes to a player like Price, and the Pirates are one of the teams deep enough to really make a competitive offer. 

On the other hand, the Rays would want a lot for Price. Judging by the ransom they pulled in for James Shields, I would assume that the deal would start with Taillon and Polanco and then probably get filled in with a few fringier low minors types like Nick Kingham, Barrett Barnes, and Josh Bell. That's really a haul when you consider that Taillon has a considerable ceiling of his own and should be making his big league debut by mid-season 2014. 

If we really want to get into the weeds, I'd guess that the Pirates would be willing to trade Taillon and a lesser position prospect than Polanco (which, I guess, means Alen Hanson, or maybe Austin Meadows as a PTBNL in June when he's able to be traded), plus whatever else it would take to fill out the deal. That's a really strong offer, obviously, but I'm guessing that there's a more desperate team that's less dependent on their farm than the Pirates are that would be willing to make a ridiculous offer for Price in the same realm as last year's Shields trade. 

Here's where I personally get hung up on thinking about a Price trade: the Pirates have a pretty good big league team, and they have a really good farm system. As things currently stand on December 4, 2014, the Pirates' two biggest strengths as a system from top to bottom are pitching and outfielders. Depleting the depth of the system to strengthen something that's already an organizational strength doesn't seem like something the Pirates would do at this point. That all comes with a caveat, of course: the Pirates are trying to make the jump from playoff team to legitimate World Series contender in 2014. Adding one of baseball's best pitchers would certainly be a way to go about doing that. I don't really think it's going to happen at this point, but I can understand why the Pirates would be considering it.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.