With the MLB trade deadline one week away, reports of various players, in particular pitchers, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been tied to is in full swing. The club reportedly contacted the Texas Rangers regarding Yovani Gallardo and have maintained contact with the Philadelphia Phillies for Cole Hamels.
While either of the aforementioned pitchers would be a boost to a rotation that’s been without two-fifths of their expected starters for much of the season, Gallardo or Hamels may not be Los Angeles’ prime target. That honor instead goes to Detroit Tigers ace David Price, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 23, 2015
The Dodgers’ interest in Price dates back multiple seasons, and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman of course has an established history and relationship with the left-hander. When shopping Price last season Friedman attempted to pry some combination of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias from the Dodgers.
With Pederson now entrenched as the club’s starting center fielder, he’s presumably a deal breaker in any trade talks this year. Additionally, both Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi have gone on record to state trading Seager or Urias is unlikely.
Whether the Dodgers are even given the opportunity to hold substantial trade talks with the Tigers for Price is currently unknown. It was previously reported they would be sellers with the deadline approaching, though a decision on which direction to head in appears to be on hold for now.
Price this season is 9-3 with a 2.32 ERA and 2.78 FIP. His 140 innings pitched are tied with Clayton Kershaw for fourth-most in the Majors. What may entice the Tigers to deal their coveted pitcher is previous experience with Max Scherzer.
They held onto Scherzer at the trade deadline last season only to lose him in free agency the Washington Nationals. At 29 years old Price certainly won’t have a shortage of suitors should he hit the open market, and it’s far from given he would re-sign with Detroit.
At 47-48 heading into play Friday the Tigers are 10.5 games back of the Kansas City Royals for first place in the American League Central. However, they’re only four games out of the second Wild Card spot.
The proverbial first domino fell Thursday when the Oakland Athletics traded Scott Kazmir, also set to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season, to the Houston Astros for a package of middling prospects.