According to reports, the Chicago Cubs wasted no time inquiring about Detroit Tigers pitcher, David Price.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) July 23, 2015
The Cubs are in the market for a starting pitcher, but reports have been scattered as to what level of pitcher the team is interested in adding. They’ve been connected to Price, Cole Hamels, Scott Kazmir, Mat Latos, and even a rumble or two concerning Jeff Samardzija.
With the sudden availability of Price after the Tigers announced they were looking to trade the left hander, along with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, the Cubs immediately became interested. Price was already presumed to be at the top of the Cubs wishlist this offseason.
Price is putting up another David-Price-like season, currently holding a 9-3 record, 2.32 ERA (2.78 FIP), and a 1.11 WHIP. Strangely enough, that’s (barely) his highest WHIP since 2011. In short, this guy’s kind of good.
The Cubs connection to Price is about as surprising as the sun coming up this morning. He played under Joe Maddon for all of his time with the Tampa Bay Rays (2008-2014), is the type of arm the Cubs need, and the Cubs have the organizational depth to trade for Price, or the deep pockets to entice him via free agency.
The primary wonder is whether or not the Cubs should just wait and go after Price in the offseason. Without sounding flippant and throwing around $150 million like it’s chump change, the Cubs could feasibly land Price in the offseason without having to part with any prospects. And as encouraging as the Cubs overall performance has been in 2015, they appear headed for, at best, a wildcard spot, consequently meaning they’ll be at the mercy of the one-game playoff. And let’s be honest, justly or not, with respect to Jake Arrieta, is there any way Jon Lester doesn’t start that game?
Conversely, if they Cubs do trade for him, who do the Tigers want? Rather, who are the Cubs willing to give up? Javier Baez? Kyle Schwarber? Billy McKinney? Starlin Castro? Addison Russell? Despite Price currently being a two-month rental, the Tigers won’t give him away. Even not wanting to give up prospects, it’s probably selling the process short by saying “just go sign him in the offseason” –like it’s that easy.
Another issue with trading for Price is that, with so many teams interested (most everyone will have at least a passing interest), you’ll almost definitely overpay.
Despite the tantalizing thought of Lester, Arrieta, and Price atop the rotation, the reality is that the Cubs have no reason to be antsy. No one is going to blame them for waiting until the offseason to significantly upgrade. If they insist, parting with prospects is alright to land someone like Price, but you’d hope there would be a long-term willingness from Price’s camp before actually pulling the trigger on a deal.