Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports says that the trade market for David Price is about to heat up, and names the Pittsburgh Pirates as a team that has an interest and that can put together a package to acquire Price. Passan also mentions the Mariners, Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Blue Jays.
With all of those teams involved, it doesn’t seem that the Pirates would be any sort of favorites. In fact, Passan says that the Mariners are seen as a strong candidate to land Price. It would almost certainly take a top prospect like Jameson Taillon or Gregory Polanco to get Price, and possibly would require both players. The lefty has two years of control and would probably make about $30 M combined in arbitration.
Price is an ace, averaging about a 4.0 WAR or better each season. He’s also 28 years old, so he doesn’t look to be declining anytime soon. The Pirates could definitely afford him, both in prospects and in dollars. The question is whether it would be worth it to acquire him. There’s no doubt that he’s a good player, but the Rays could command a huge return for him, and that return might end up being worth more than Price in the long-run. Last year the Rays got top prospect Wil Myers from the Kansas City Royals as part of a deal for James Shields, who also had two years of control. Shields was a good pitcher for the Royals, but there’s no doubt that 6.5 years of Myers is looking much better right now, especially when you add in the other pieces.
I don’t see the Pirates landing Price, and I wouldn’t be that upset if they didn’t get him. I think they’re better off building like the Rays, rather than being on the exact opposite side of the Rays in a trade involving prospects and established players who are close to free agency.
UPDATE 11:54 PM: Jory Rand hears that the Pirates aren’t in on Price due to the cost in money and prospects.
Told by a source that the Pirates are not in on David Price. The move wouldn't make sense for team-cost (salary & prospects) just too high.
— Jory Rand (@JoryRand) December 5, 2013