UPDATE (July 26, 12:10 p.m. PT): According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Detroit Tigers are in the process of checking the market for potential additions to their roster in the event they decide to keep David Price:
If the Tigers keep David Price, they'll look to add before July 31 — and they are in the market now checking on upgrades.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 26, 2015
With the non-waiver trade deadline less than one week away, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ search for a starting pitcher has ranged from Yovani Gallardo, to Cole Hamels to David Price, to asking on the Cleveland Indians’ staff.
Former Oakland Athletic starter Scott Kazmir was the first pitcher dealt and Cincinnati Reds ace Johnny Cueto appears to be next as the Reds agreed to a trade with the Kansas City Royals. The Dodgers’ seemingly have had a longstanding interest in Hamels, which includes talks with the Philadelphia Phillies last season, but it’s believed Price is the pitcher Los Angeles prefers.
One obstacle in trading for the left-hander is the Detroit Tigers have yet to decide if they’ll be sellers on the market. Should Detroit eventually opt to wave the white flag and deal Price, they would expect a pitching prospect ready to make contributions next season as part of the return, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:
Sources say the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs have interest in Price. To obtain the left-hander, a team almost certainly would need to surrender a pitcher who fits into the Tigers’ 2016 rotation.
With respect to the Dodgers, a prospect in the organization who best fits that description is prized 18-year-old Julio Urias. However, the club refused to include him in trade talks last season and there’s been no indication they’ve backed off that stance under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi.
Another option could be Jose De Leon, who began the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and now is with Double-A Tulsa. De Leon this season is a combined 6-5 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.05 ERA. There’s also Zach Lee, who made his Major-League debut Saturday night. However, his potential has been questioned by some and his trade value isn’t believed to be high.
As much as the Dodgers may seek an elite starting pitcher, they could instead opt for a second-tier arm if it means not emptying the farm. By going in that direction it may also allow them to address the bullpen, which although improved, remains somewhat of a liability.