During the off-season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were heavily involved in talks hoping to land Masahiro Tanaka and they were also believed to covet Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price. Tanaka eventually signed with the New York Yankees, perhaps in part to the Dodgers believing the Japanese pitcher wasn’t worth the seven-year, $155 million contract he received from the Bronx Bombers.
Acquiring Price would have been under a different set of circumstances for the Dodgers. Rather than potentially outspending other teams, like they could have with Tanaka, Price is currently under contract and getting him to Los Angeles would have needed to be by virtue of a trade. According to Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily, there was one package that could have sent Price to Los Angeles:
They could have had David Price back in November for a package of Pederson, Seager and 17-year old lefthanded pitching phenom Julio Urias. They would not bite, nor would they engage teams on Pederson.
According to Gammons, Part of the reason the Dodgers refrained from parting ways with the trio of players is their desire to develop the farm system:
We need to start developing our own players, our own young kids, says Mattingly, echoing the sentiments of GM Ned Colletti and Pres. Stan Kasten. A good example is rookie center fielder Joc Pederson, the jewel of Mattingly’s spring.
As Gammons notes, Pederson in particular is one player whom the Dodgers are high on. Pederson has played in 10 games this spring and is batting a below expected .200, but his value can be seen in how he patrols the outfield. This is a point of emphasis when considering the Dodgers have two oft-injured outfielders on the team in Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp. Moving Corey Seager also would have stripped the Dodgers of an option at shortstop once the time comes to slide Hanley Ramirez over to third base.
Furthermore, Price is working on a one-year contract with the Rays and as the team has proven in years past, they’re willing to move him before the trade deadline rather than run the risk of not re-signing him. Should that again be the case, Price may be back on the market, but with the Rays in less of a position to ask for a similar package.
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