The ever-changing story about whether or not the Rakuten Eagles will post sensation Masahiro Tanaka has affected the market for Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price. Coming into the off-season, many expected the Rays to trade Price since they did the same with starters Matt Garza and James Shields recently.
However, Rays GM Andrew Friedman is looking for multiple top prospects, an asking price most GM’s are currently balking at. One of the teams that told the Rays directly of their interest is the Dodgers, but according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, everything is quiet on that front:
There is said to be “nothing happening” on that front with the Dodgers at the moment
At the Winter Meetings earlier this month, the Dodgers told the Rays to keep them in mind if they were to make a deal involving Price. Many have pegged them as the favorites if they’re willing to deal some of their top prospects, but don’t count on it.
Dodgers president Stan Kasten says the organization is in “Phase 2” of its plan after using the last year to catch-up after the team was plagued by the ownership of Frank McCourt. In this new phase, the idea is to keep top prospects rather than trade them and try and replenish a very top heavy farm system.
Names like Joc Pederson, Julio Urias, Corey Seager and Zach Lee have all been mentioned as possible pieces in a deal, with some suggesting the Dodgers trade one of their four high-priced outfielders also. Of the four prospects named, the Rays are thought to want two of the trio of Seager, Urias and Pederson, something the Dodgers don’t seem intent on doing anytime soon.
Another reason why trading for Price might be unrealistic is that management would have to sign he and Clayton Kershaw to long-term extensions simultaneously. If Tanaka doesn’t wind up getting posted, there’s a chance the Dodgers go all-in for Price, but it sounds like Kasten and company want to stick to “Phase 2”.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and J.P. Howell agreed to a two-year deal earlier this week