Trade Him? Keep Him? Sign Him? The Complicated Issue Surrounding David Price

It’s that time of the year again, but not that season of Christmas cookies, Santa and disco balls dropping at midnight that you are probably thinking about. Instead, its that time of the year in Major League Baseball where there are blockbuster trades taking place and record shattering contracts being signed. We have already seen the monster trade of Prince Fielder take place and scroll across the bottom of our TV’s on the ESPN ticker. One trade or sign we haven’t seen scroll across that ticker is David Price, the left-handed starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. The situation of David Price is a complicated one though and the Rays need to decide whether they keep him for the next two years and let him walk in free agency, trade him to another team for top MLB prospects or try to work a deal out with him and sign him long term.

Lets look at and examine those options more below.

Sign Him

Of the three options, this is the least likely to happen by far. The Rays are a small market franchise, that are not able to spend a lot on payroll. The Rays only spent $58 million on payroll in 2013 and that is not nearly enough money to pay Price. Price will be commanding around a 7 year $190 million dollar deal, that will make him the highest paid pitcher in baseball. Price would be about half the payroll for the Rays, so financially it is just not possible, unless he takes a hometown discount (which he won’t).

Related Article: Jeff Passan from Yahoo Sports analyzes the Felix Hernandez contact and how it bodes well for future pitchers like David Price.

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Keep Him

The second option is for the Rays to hold on to him one more year and make another playoff push for the World Series. After next year they could either hold on to him for the final year of his deal and let him leave via free agency and get a compensatory draft pick or they trade him before the season or even trade him mid season depending on Rays record.

Related Article: Jamal Wilburg from BleacherReport.com explores if the Rays can figure out a way to keep David Price.

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Trade Him

The third and final option for the Rays is to trade him to another team outside of the AL-East. This is the most likely option for the Rays to explore and go through with. Last year the Rays traded both James Shields and Wade Davis to the Kansas City Royals for four players, most notably Wil Meyers the top prospect in baseball. The Rays got one great player and three potentially good or great players for one mediocre pitcher and one great pitcher. If the Rays to trade Price this offseason, expect a similar deal, but one with even better player that the Rays would get in return.

Related Article: Jay Jaffe from Sports Illustrated explores eight possible trade destinations for David Price.

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All of those options have their pro’s and con’s and some sound better than others, but a decision has to be made. It’s a tough decision to make and a decision that could alter the future of the Rays organization drastically. I am glad I am not the person who has to make that decision.

AL Cy Young Motoring Into The Motor City

The AL Cy Young appears all but certain to be heading back to Detroit for the second time in three years.  This time it will not be Justin Verlander taking home the hardware, it will be Max Scherzer, the right-handed starting pitcher instead. Out of all the pitchers in the AL, Scherzer had the most complete and dominate 2013 season.

Inside The Numbers

Strikeouts

Innings Pitched

Wins

WHIP

ERA

WAR

 240  214.1  21  0.97  2.90  6.7
 2nd in the AL  T-5th in the AL  1st in the AL  1st in the AL  5th in the AL  3rd in the AL

When first looking at Scherzer’s numbers, the stat the pop’s out the most is his 21 wins. His 21 wins are the most wins in all of baseball in 2013 and two more than the closest pitcher. Any pitcher that reaches 20 plus wins is reaching a milestone considering that Scherzer is only the 14th pitcher since 2009 to reach 20 plus wins.  Even if you were to take out Scherzer’s impressive number of wins, he is still deserving of the AL Cy Young. As Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com points out he is first in WHIP, second in strikeouts and in the top five for all other major pitching statistical categories. In a sport based a lot on stats, his stats sure do talk for themselves and prove why he is the best pitcher in AL for the 2013 season.

Over Shadowed

Scherzer is deserving of the 2013 AL Cy Young and he should win it, but people are still tying to find reasons as to why he shouldn’t be the most deserving. A lot of fans still don’t really know who he is, so why should he win it if people don’t know who he is. Scherzer is constantly over shadowed by other stars on his team by the likes of Prince FielderMiguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander who are the well known, high paid players who put up big numbers and put on great performances and get all the highlights on ESPN. In their shadow Scherzer quietly put together the best season of any pitcher in the AL. If people stop, look and pay attention to the season he had, the reasons as to why he should not win will disappear.

Two Man Race For NL Cy Young, Who’s Going To Take The Crown? Part 2

The NL Cy Young has come down to a two-man race between LA Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. This is  the second part of a two part series that breaks down each player and their respective season.

Clayton Kershaw’s Case

Clayton Kershaw might just be the best southpaw pitcher in baseball today. Kershaw has spearheaded the second half surge by the LA Dodgers to put them in playoffs and has led them to the third best record in the NL. Since the All-Star break the Dodgers have gone 43 and 19, which at one point, winning 36 of 44 games. A big part of that is because of Kershaw taking the hill every five days and being that guy who can get a win every time he goes out.

Lets go inside his numbers

Strikeouts Innings Pitched Wins WHIP ERA WAR
232 236 16 0.92 1.83 7.9
1st in the NL 2nd in the NL Tied for 3rd in the NL 1st in the NL 1st in the NL 1st in the NL

As you can see he is either first, second or third in each major pitching category, with the most mind boggling and amazing stat being his ERA of 1.88. No other starting pitcher in the entire MLB has an ERA below two. This number is so amazing because every time he goes out on the hill, he his shutting down almost every offensive weapon a team has to offer. The Dodger’s offensive players know that if they get just 2-3 runs every time he is out there, they will win because he sits batters down left and right.

Who Wins?

Comparing a closer to a starting pitcher can be like comparing apples to oranges because they impact their team differently, but one could not do their job without the other. However, when looking at the numbers they both put up this year, I have to give it  to Clayton Kershaw as the 2013 NL Cy Young winner. Kershaw is having a bigger impact on his team this year and it has shown throughout the second half of the baseball season. Kershaw’s impact has even put him in contention to win the NL MVP award, which is very hard for a pitcher to win. Kershaw is a game changing pitcher every time he steps on the hill. He is a true ace and will be for many years to come.

Two Man Race for NL Cy Young, Who’s going to take the Crown? Part 1

The NL Cy Young has come down to a two-man race between LA Dodgers Starting Pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Atlanta Braves Closer Craig Kimbrel. This is a two-part series that breaks down each player and his respective season. This is part one.

(Note: Stats for Kimbrel and Kershaw are not final. 2013 Regular season not over yet.)

Craig Kimbrel Case

Having a closer with a really good chance of winning the NL Cy Young is a big deal because in the 45 years of the NL Cy Young Award a closer has only won the award 5 times. The last closer to win the Cy Young was Eric Gagne of the LA Dodgers; with 55 saves he converted in a row.

9879699215_a68992a9b2_kLet’s compare the major stats of Gagne’s 2003 season v.s. Kimbrel’s 2013 season.

Saves Strikeouts ERA WHIP Blown Saves
Gagne 55 137 1.2 0.69 0
Kimbrel 49 93 1.27 0.91 4

When looking at the stats Eric Gagne does have an edge in every major category. A big part of the Cy Young that has to be considered though is the success of the player’s team. Kimbrel has team success going for him, where as Gagne did not. Kimbrel’s Atlanta Braves have the best record in the NL and are going to be the top seed in the 2013 Postseason. In 2003 Gagne’s Dodgers didn’t make the playoffs and finished 15.5 games out of first in the NL West.

Stay tuned for the next post which will break down Kershaw and say who wins the 2013 NL Cy Young.