10 Reasons Why David Price Will Be Your Toronto Blue Jays’ 2016 Opening Day Starter

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I know what you’e been thinking ever since the trade deadline – David Price is a Blue Jay.  I also assume that your excitement is tempered by melancholy, knowing that he may only be wearing blue for 2 or 3 more months.

And look, if I needed to bet my car on where Price would Ace next year, and my choices were the Blue Jays or “the field”, I would bet the field.  The Blue Jays have a history of not going buck-wild on mega contracts, and David should have his choice of a dozen teams, for what the hipsters like to call “all the monies”.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

That said, I think that Alex Anthopoulus (hereinafter referred to as The Ninja or His Ninjaness) believes that Price is sign-able long term and I think that factored in to his trade decision

For your review and discussion, I submit to you 10 reasons why David Price will be your Toronto Blue Jays’ 2016 opening day starter  (all numbers “~ish” and any use of “price” with a lower case “p” is not for pun purposes).

  1. THE MONEY – The Blue Jays have a lot of money coming off the books.  They drop $20M via Mark Buerhle, and have the option to lose another $10M by not picking up RA Dickey’s option.  They really don’t have a ton of money committed beyond 2016, and they have a blank financial canvas on which The Ninja can paint.
  1. THE YOUTH – The Blue Jays have a lot of controllable, young starting pitchers in Sanchez, Stroman, Osuna, Hutchison.  Every time you pay a starter their $600k minimum, you save a ton of money, given that the average salary for starting pitchers is about $4M and the best get many multiples of that.
  1. NET IMPORTERS OF SALARY – The Blue Jays are not against the idea of taking on mega contracts.  They traded for two of the fattest contracts in baseball in Buerhle and Reyes, and have shown the willingness to add tremendous amounts of payroll, through players who are several tiers below David Price.

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    1. THE FINANCIAL CLOUT – The Blue Jays have wealthy owners.  That doesn’t mean they WILL spend.  That means they CAN spend.  If you’re a Rays fan, you’re probably not too optimistic about a reunion.
    1. THE TEST DRIVE – They get to take each other for a test drive.  I’m not suggesting that Toronto is so wonderful that he’ll fall in love like Paris in the Springtime.  I’m simply suggesting that it gives him time to create some relationships and is an undeniable advantage over other suitors.  These are human beings we’re talking about after all and Toronto is a metropolitan, easy city to live in.
    1. THE TRUE ACE – The 2016 Blue Jays could use an Ace.  If we’ve learned anything from Drew Hutchison this year, it’s about tempering expectations on young pitchers.  Marcus Stroman projects to be an ace, but would it be so bad to have him apprentice under Price in the two spot?  Didn’t think so.
    1. ESTABLISHING MARKET RATE – We can guess what Price would cost by looking at recent contracts awarded to pitchers like Greinke and Scherzer, and know that he won’t come cheap.  But if Price and the Jays can get on the same page as to what his “market price” is, there may be a deal.  If they can’t, then let’s hope he wins us a ring in October.

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    1. THE DELTA – Let’s drill in on the Blue Jays needing an Ace.  There are a ton of good free agent starters available this year, but only a few great ones (possibly only Greinke compares to Price).  What is the delta between the frontline, free agent starter NOT named Price and the cost for Price?  If we’re comparing a $150M deal to a $200M deal, there may be better places to save payroll.
    1. THE WARREN BUFFETT EFFECT – David Price is not just a superb starter.  He’s a lefty in an organization that traded away their last lefty starter.  He’s AL East proven and he’s been healthy his whole career.  Anthopoulus famously quoted Buffet saying that it’s better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price, than a fair company at a wonderful price.  This might be the best example available of this investment mindset.
    1. THE RISK (OR LACK THEREOF) – I think this is the most important point of all.  His Ninjaness has empirically proven that any contract can be moved.   He showed us first with Wells and recently with Reyes, that there is no contract too bloated to be moved.  So let’s assume they go “full-Scherzer” and give Price the 7 year/ $210M mega deal.  They try it for a couple years, and if Flags Don’t Fly, they trade him for whatever package they want.  With MLB’s newfound parity, a seven year deal is no longer a seven year deal.

    Have I convinced you?  I thought not.  For a fan base that is only starting to get accustomed to “having nice things”, this must sound too optimistic for words.  And ultimately the team’s success on the field will have be the biggest factor in retaining David Price.  However, I think that the last month has shown us a new intention within the Blue Jays front office, and I believe there would be no better player to enter into this new era behind than David Price.  Now let’s go chase down those Yankees.

    Next: Roberto Osuna: The oldest 20-year old in Blue Jays history

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