David Price for Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin and Willy Adames
This is the one that is difficult to understand. I waited to hear the Tampa Bay Rays had gotten an elite prospect, but the news never came. Adames’ name was added after the fact, but he doesn’t come close to qualifying as elite.
Price, however, is elite. He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. Not really much else needs to be said.
Smyly, like Kelly, spent time in the rotation and the bullpen over the past few years. This season, he’s started 17 games and has posted solid numbers. He’s only 25 and is cost-controlled for four more years.
Franklin, a former top prospect, struggled in his shot with the Mariners earlier this year. He returned to Triple A and hit well, which doesn’t really say much.
Adames is an 18-year-old shortstop who’s hit pretty well in his two years of pro ball. I really don’t know much else about him.
Could the Dodgers Have Matched? Yes.
I don’t really see how the Rays could trade Price with the centerpiece being a player who profiles as a back end starter, but here we are.
The Dodgers could have offered up any number of players with that projection — Zach Lee and Chris Reed immediately come to mind. Franklin could have been Darnell Sweeney or Alex Guerrero. Adames could have been a random prospect the Dodgers have in A ball or rookie ball.
While an argument could be made that Price’s probable $20 million payday next year could decrease his value, I don’t see how that lowers his value to the point where you’re taking quantity over quality. There are teams out there who could pay that with the Dodgers being one of them.
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