Cork Gaines at Rays Index (via Charlie at Bucs Dugout) writes that Peter Gammons said on MLB Network that most people felt the Pittsburgh Pirates offer for David Price was greater than what the Rays received in terms of talent. The quote that Gaines relays is as follows.
“Most people thought the Pirates offer, which was all about prospects and minor leaguers, might have been greater in terms of talent and that the Pirates were much closer to getting Price than we realize. But the way that the Rays look at it in Franklin and in Smyly, they get two current Major League players who are under control for a long time [and] cost efficient. They can step right in and play for [the Rays]. The kid shortstop is a tremendous talent and two years from now may be a really good player. So, in the end, having two Major League players come in the deal rather than four prospects, probably is a better deal than anything they could have gotten anywhere else.”
It seems that the Rays wanted a very specific return. They wanted players who could help them now, but also help them in the future. They weren’t looking for a total return of prospects, which is what the Pirates had to offer. They did receive one prospect in the deal, getting breakout shortstop prospect Willy Adames. From what I’ve read, the Rays really like his upside. Other than that, it’s hard to see the Pirates putting together a similar package of players without taking a big step back at a position or two in the majors in the process.