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MLB Trade Rumors: Cleveland could still a be landing spot for David Price

While the big-spending Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners are considered to be potential landing spots for 2012 Cy Young award winner David Price, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports says that MLB fans should not count out the Cleveland Indians.

In a recent column surrounding potential deals involving top-flight starting pitchers, Morosi feels that a package involving catcher/first baseman/third baseman Carlos Santana could be enough to get a deal in place, allowing the Indians to nab the ace starting pitcher needed to keep up with the Joneses (and the Ilitches).

“The Indians are one excellent starter away from mounting a serious challenge to the Tigers in the AL Central, but they don’t want to pay the going rate in free agency, so the trade market is a more plausible route,” writes Morosi. “The Indians’ package could center on Carlos Santana, who brings the power/patience combination the Rays would love and is under club control through 2017 on a team-friendly contract. Derek Shelton, the Rays’ respected hitting coach, held the same position in Cleveland while Santana was a minor leaguer there.”

Morosi, in his speculation, adds that the emergence of Yan Gomes (and his subsequent move to full-time catcher) allows the Indians to have considerable flexibility in the trade market. It would be expected that outfielder Nick Swisher would move to first base in the event Santana was moved.

Price, 28, has won a Cy Young and has a 71-39 record and 3.19 ERA over six years in the big leagues. Last season, he went 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA, a disappointment within a career that has seen seasons of 200 innings, more than 200 strikeouts and as many as 20 wins. He will not be a free agent for two more seasons.

As WFNY’s Jacob Rosen mentioned one month ago, the starter will be in for a sizable bump in his salary as he likely avoids arbitration over his final two seasons under contract.

[Related: How badly do the Indians need more starters? – Cleveland Indians Roundtable]

  • Steve

    I’m right there with you, the difference in salaries, by itself, is enough to say no.

  • woofersus

    You’re not just choosing between Price at the top of the rotation and Santana in middle of the order. You’re trading between Price at the top of the rotation and $12 million less to spend elsewhere (like the bullpen) and a offensive black hole like Marson starting behind the dish 50 times and one less available bench position and less flexibility in the lineup vs Santana in the middle of the order. These kinds of moves don’t happen in a vacuum.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Huh. Never said SABR metics weren’t valuable. Just that I don’t really get into it. I openly admit to being a pretty casual baseball fan.

    Of course there is not one specific way. But I would argue that good pitching beats good hitting more often than not. I choose to abide by the old saying “you can never have too much pitching”.

  • Steve

    Santana is a 4+ WAR player, I have no idea where he gets called average. Jacob may need to write another article.

  • woofersus

    Not to mention “no real position” can also be translated as “can play several positions.”

  • Steve

    Part of “you can never have enough pitching” is that pitchers get hurt so frequently. And the problem with “good pitching beats good hitting” is that when the good hitting wins, we just call it bad pitching. There isn’t much evidence that focusing on building your team around pitching instead of hitting is a plus. Teams of all shapes and sizes have won a bunch of regular season games and championships.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    OK. So we would build our teams differently. Agree to disagree.

  • Steve

    And this is the beauty of all the work done by SABR and those types of individuals. We don’t have to just throw up our hands and go “eh, who really knows?”. The work is out there for us to look at.

    Run prevention (alone) is a tiny bit more effective than run scoring (alone), because when we hold run differential the same, variance is smaller, but the difference is not substantial enough to be washed up in antiquated notions.

  • saggy

    pitchers get hurt at an awfully higher rate than hitters. dont forget that.

    Oh wait, David Price was hurt this year. And, in my experience, once you have a pretty serious injury it becomes an issue, however large, for the rest of your career.

    We’ll see Price on the shelf again sometime.

  • saggy

    gotta side w nj0 here. though he never directly answered your question, you never really qualified what a “top of the rotation starter” is.

    nj0’s “The 2011 Cardinals won the Series without a starting pitcher posting better than a 108 ERA+” is a statement that you CAN win a World Series where your best arm is a statistically worse pitcher than 2 of the guys the Indians had this season.

  • saggy

    it seems i’ve got your back today, woof.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Does anyone else want to see what other miracles Mickey Callaway can work before we start spending big dollars on pitching?

  • Jason Hurley

    A trade like this would have to involve another team, as Cleveland likely wouldn’t give up Santana and likely something else for Price without getting a bat in return as well (even if it’s a prospect).

  • mgbode

    how many championships did the Braves win with 3 HOF making up their rotation?

    you usually need both.

  • mgbode

    I agree that good pitching beats good hitting. But, over the course of the season, a good pitcher may start 30-35 games while that good hitter plays 140+games. That is why the value dissipates over the course of the season (and that obviously matters because you need to get to the playoffs to matter in the playoffs).

  • mgbode

    last year, sure. that’s part of the issue here. if we get 2010 or 2012 Price, then he is MUCH more valuable. that is why I also see the Price side here.

    there’s less risk on the Santana side, but if things break just right, then the Price side could pay HUGE dividends.

    also, what if we give up LESS than Santana. Asdrubal has some value because of the compensation pick setup and TB may value Swisher. Add in a couple prospects that they might like and……You’re saying there’s a chance!

  • mgbode

    i’ll have both please 🙂

  • Ed Carroll

    Not attacking Scott because Morosi completely ignored it, but the Rays defered about $4.1 million of Price’s 2013 salary to 2014. So that $13 million arbitration estimate would in reality be $17 million for his 2014 salary.

    I suppose I shouldn’t be suprised anymore by how ignorant Indians fans are regarding Santana’s awesomeness, but hey, I make mistakes.

  • mgbode

    everything is negotiable, but I would assume that deferred 2013 salary would still be the responsibility of the Rays.

  • Ed Carroll

    The team acquiring him would have to negotiate it so the Rays would pay the $4.1 million. The Rays defered that so they wouldn’t have to pay it (i.e. so they could pass it on to the next team).

  • woofersus

    Oh I certainly see the potential impact of Price and would love to have him. We are actually in an interesting position re Swisher because Santana and potentially Cooper can play 1B, and we have an effective outfield platoon. If he hadn’t had an off-year last season his contract would actually start to look attractive to some teams given this offseason’s market. I doubt TB is one of those teams, but they do need a first baseman, and Loney probably played himself out of town last season. (and the FA pool of 1B’s is getting shallow) Trading Swisher and a couple of relatively high level prospects for Price would be a doable proposition for me. I just don’t see it happening unless we pay part of Swisher’s salary, though.

  • Jim Gilbert

    1…..against one of the best hitting teams in history.

  • mgbode

    yes, exactly. they won 1 WS despite making the playoffs every year with those guys.

  • mgbode

    I believe it is just the opposite though. TB would have to negotiate to have the next team pay it. Currently, it is a deferred payment from a 2013 bill, so it is TB’s responsibility. Now, they could negotiate that the next team pays their bill, but it is their bill.

  • Ed Carroll

    Tampa deferred it because they don’t want to pay it. Any team acquiring Price will have to pick up that cost, unless they sweeten the offer for the Rays (and the Indians can’t sweeten it, as the offer starts with Lindor and Salazaar). You’re looking at it logically but trust me, any team acquiring Price will pick that cost up, or offer more talent in return.