According to Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports the Toronto Blue Jays are one of a handful of clubs that are interested in pursuing the services of Tampa Bay Rays’ LHP David Price and “believe they can put together the sort of package” according to Passan’s source.
However before we get too excited as Blue Jays fans (or start an uproar over the potential players that could be involved) it’s important to note that, again according to Passan, that many believe the Seattle Mariners are the favourites to land Price. They’ve also been linked to the cream of this year’s free agent class, 2B Robinson Cano, after OF Jacoby Ellsbury recently agreed to sign with the New York Yankees. Passan also lists the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks as possible suitors.
Price, 28, was the American League’s Cy Young winner in 2012 and boasts impressive career marks of 3.19 ERA, 1.158 WHIP and 3.06 K/BB rate. He walked a career-low 1.3 batters per nine innings in 2013. He did see a slight drop in fastball velocity but was dealing with a strained triceps that forced him to miss six weeks of the season.
I don’t want to speculate what type of package would be required from the Blue Jays to land Price but for reference according to Yahoo Sports’ sources the Mariners have considered including RHP Taijuan Walker, who is ranked as the fourth best prospect in baseball at MLB.com.
The Blue Jays appear to still be in “win-now” mode so their assumed interest in Price makes sense but the question remains how much of the future is GM Alex Anthopoulos willing to sacrifice to land a big fish this off-season. Passan notes that the Rays don’t have any specific holes to fill on their roster but it sounds like they are looking for at least one MLB-ready pitcher to join the rotation in 2014.
With the Winter Meetings set to begin next week speculation should continue to be hot and heavy around Price. He’s superior to any of the pitchers available in this year’s free agent market and also comes with two remaining years of reasonably priced team control. The Rays may not be willing to deal within the division so the Jays interest in Price could be a moot point but it looks like they are at least sitting at the table for now.