For now, it appears that the race to get Masahiro Tanaka has been put on hold. According to published reports, the Rakuten Golden Eagles are supposedly not going to post Tanaka for 2014. As this story becomes more fluid, it appears the Arizona Diamondbacks will now have to go Plan B. As venomstrikes’ own Tyler Roberts pointed out, the D’backs can go down the free agent road with Matt Garza or Ubaldo Jimenez. I am not sure the free agent route is where GM Kevin Towers wants to go. That being said, there is one guy that seems to be available in a trade: David Price. However, in order for the Rays to deal him to Arizona it would cost the team Archie Bradley. My question is this: would the D’backs be able to find a way to get Price without surrendering Bradley?
I would seem to think the answer is yes. Lest we forget, the D’backs have not one but two pitchers who have already enjoyed Major League success in Patrick Corbin and Wade Miley. Neither one of those guys would be dealt straight up for the ace left-hander so obviously the D’backs would need to sweeten the pot. Tampa seems to have a need at closer since it doesn’t appear they are going to re-sign Fernando Rodney. Newly acquired Addison Reed would surely fit the bill for the Rays. After all, he does have experience closing in the American League, registering 69 saves for the White Sox over the last two seasons. The best news for the Rays is that the two guys heading their way would be under club control for the next four seasons. Arizona would be happy getting Price for two seasons plus not having to give up a future ace in Bradley. As for the closer situation, J.J. Putz can still own the ninth inning with Jake Barrett and Matt Stites brought up to provide insurance in case the Big Guy falters. Everyone wins, right?
Well, not really. While the deal may look fair to an impartial observer, there are problems on both ends. First, the Rays may not think they are getting enough. While Tampa is certainly looking for club control over young players, Miley, Corbin and Reed only have four years left under control while getting Bradley gives them six. He has more upside than the two lefties and when you factor in the control factor, he is deemed much more valuable than any D’back pitcher. Plus, the Rays may want a position player, particularly a shortstop to be thrown in as well. That might be too steep a price for the D’backs. For Arizona, having Price and later in the season Bradley (if he is as good as advertised) in the same rotation would be a nightmare for opposing teams. Think of them dominating NL West opponents with Corbin or Miley as a third starter. Then after 2015, it will be gone. Price will most assuredly command a ridiculous amount of money, a bidding war the D’backs probably won’t be able to win. Will have it been worth it to give up two pitchers and a shortstop for two years of an ace? Time would tell.
When I started I writing this, I thought my answer would be a firm no that the D’backs could get David Price without sending back Archie Bradley. I thought the D’backs should just stand pat and develop their own pitchers. The rotation without Price could contend. However, the more I think about it, the less crazy it becomes. Tampa would probably balk at the deal without a shortstop included or if there is no Bradley. However it make may sense for the Snakes if it means a World Series appearance. Am I crazy or realistic?