Two down, one to go.
With the Philadelphia Phillies trading Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers Wednesday night, there is only one true ace left on the market: Detroit Tigers left-hander David Price.
This should be music to Tigers fans’ ears. Although it would mean meaningless baseball over the next two months, the return Detroit will get on Price could be massive. Regardless of the reasons, general manager Dave Dombrowski waited to decided whether to buy or sell, and with the other two aces on the market gone, the “price” will surely go up.
Actually, the price for Price could rise so much the Los Angeles Dodgers might ship top pitching prospect Julio Urias in order to acquire the Tigers ace.
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, MLB executives are “absolutely convinced” Price will wind up with the Dodgers. That makes sense because after Zack Grienke and Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers rotation is quite weak. Acquiring Price doesn’t make the Dodgers rotation any less top heavy, but it does add some depth and make it the best 1-2-3 pitching rotation in the game.
In fact, it would give Los Angeles a rotation with three Cy Young award winners. Sound familiar Detroit?
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As part of the deal, the Dodgers could also send recently acquired left-hander Alex Wood and 21-year-old pitcher Jose Peraza to the Tigers. Los Angeles acquired Wood and Peraza from Atlanta on Wednesday. Craig Calcaterra of HardBallTalk speculated that infielder Alex Guerrero and outfielder Yasiel Puig are two other players that could be part of the deal for Price.
Considering the Cincinnati Reds received three pitching prospects for Johnny Cueto, Detroit could conceivably get three, four or perhaps all those names depending on what else the Tigers are willing to add to the trade besides Price.
The Tigers ace did not pitch well in his last start on Tuesday, allowing five runs in six innings, but he is still 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.110 WHIP and 133 strikeouts in 146 frames. His 2.53 ERA is the lowest of his career. Price won the 2012 AL Cy Young Award with a 2.56 ERA.
Price has allowed 41 earned runs in his 21 starts this season, but 13 of those runs came in two games, his last one and his outing on April 22 versus the New York Yankees. Excluding those two appearances, Price has a 1.83 ERA.
But by no means, though, is the Dodgers trading for Price a sure thing. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports the Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros are also talking to the Tigers about Price. Jon Heyman of CBS tweeted the Yankees are also interested in the left-hander.
The more suitors the better. It will only drive the “price” up.