Top 5 Landing Spots For David Price
The off-season has begun with the Kansas City Royals emerging as World Series champions in 5 games over the New York Mets. Free agency will be a slow, fun process for many teams as usual and the rumors will begin to fly but the one area that is always fun to monitor is the free agent starting pitcher pool.
The 2015-2016 free agent starting pitchers list is rather impressive with many big name starters such as Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Marco Estrada, Doug Fister, Yovani Gallardo, Scott Kazmir, Jeff Samardzija, and Jordan Zimmermann.
Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays are hoping that they are able to lure David Price back to Toronto to lead the rotation for years to come. Under new President & CEO Mark Shapiro, the Blue Jays may have a better chance to land Price as opposed to when Paul Beeston was in charge due to the 5 year limit on free agents. Price will command a large chunk of money over a long term which would likely be around 7 years or maybe even more. Shapiro said in his introductory press conference today that in certain cases, he can see a deal of 7 years in length. That is a hopeful sign for Blue Jays fans hoping to see Price back in Toronto.
Of course, the choice is Price’s whether or not he wants to return to Canada. Let’s look at the top 5 destinations in my mind for David Price with a rationale for the fit.
5. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox had an extremely disappointing 2015 season after adding the likes of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval to the offense. They also added Rick Porcello and Wade Miley to the starting rotation. Despite all the additions and expectations, the Red Sox finished 5th in the AL East.
5th place finishes aren’t all too familiar to the Red Sox. Usually, they always go out and fix the issues that they have through trades and free agency and improve in the season following a disappointing one. The Red Sox offense is on the rise with the likes of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. Bounce back seasons from the likes of Ramirez and Sandoval combined with a healthy Dustin Pedroia could make for a formidable offense.
The main concern is the rotation. The Red Sox have the money and the publicity to sign David Price and he would instantly make the Red Sox a potential contender for 2016. However, is the spotlight of Boston something Price wants to be a part of? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
4. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers may still be a few years away from contending again, but their offense still have some fire power to it with the likes of Jonathan Lucroy, Ryan Braun, Khris Davis, and Jean Segura. They also have some young talent in the starting rotation with Jimmy Nelson and Taylor Jungmann.
Why did the Brewers make my list? Well, they have a very interesting and under the radar connection with David Price in pitching coach Derek Johnson. Johnson was the pitching coach at Vanderbilt, where Price went to college and played for. Price also hasn’t ever played in a market that has a lot of limelight before being with the Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, and Blue Jays, so Milwaukee could have an advantage in that regard as well.
Is it likely the Brewers make a big run at David Price? I wouldn’t think so, but perhaps Price could be in line for a reunion with his old Vanderbilt pitching coach.
3. Toronto Blue Jays
Could David Price make a return to Canada? I think the chances of that got much better with the addition of Mark Shapiro and the likely departure of the 5 year rule that applied under Paul Beeston. The Blue Jays also have the funds available to be able to bring Price back should ownership open the purse strings.
The only question now is, did Toronto open Price’s eyes enough to consider a return? It’s possible! Price consistently commented on how great the fan support was and how loud the Rogers Centre got when he was on the mound and down the stretch in big games. He also seemed to develop a very good friendship with Marcus Stroman, Toronto’s young right hander.
Was Price’s 3 months in Toronto enough for him to come back? I do think he would seriously consider it if Toronto show’s Price the money and term.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one team that you should never count out on signing any free agent as they have a ton of money at their disposal to add to their current roster. They do not have Zack Greinke under contract right now, but there is still a feel that he could return to Los Angeles.
Even if the Dodgers add Greinke or not, I would expect them to be in on David Price. The Dodgers General Manager Andrew Friedman drafted Price when Friedman was in charge of the Rays. Certainly the eyes will be on the Dodgers to see if they pursue Price.
Behind Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers don’t have much after the departure of Greinke should he not re-sign with LA. Even if Greinke returns, the Dodgers could use Price to add to their rotation. With an unlimited amount of money, a connection to Friedman, and a laid back Los Angeles market, this does seem like a fit for David Price.
1. Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have the ultimate connection to David Price in manager Joe Maddon. The relationship between Price and Maddon is quite good after all those seasons together in Tampa Bay. The Cubs are also a team very much on the cusp of being competitive year in and year out for the next several years. They made it all the way to the NLCS in 2015.
The Cubs added Jon Lester last off-season and Jake Arrieta turned into one of the MLB’s most dominant starters in 2015. Behind Lester and Arrieta, there isn’t a whole lot. The Cubs have the money to be able to throw at Price and one of the things Price is seriously taking into consideration is being with a team that gives him a shot at winning. The Cubs may just be that team.