What follows below is pure speculation on my part, but I offer my thoughts on why this deal makes sense for both teams.
The Winter Meetings officially begin on Monday, but MLB GMs are arriving in Orlando beginning today, so the trade rumors could start rolling in as soon as this evening. The guy at the top of the trade rumors this week will be Rays ace David Price. It is probably in the Rays' best interest to deal Price now, as it will be difficult to sell the idea to their fans come July if they are competing for the American League East or a wildcard. Plus, as we get closer to 2015, the return the Rays get will drop.
Each of these teams has the prospects to get a deal done, but the team that probably has the single prospect that would get the deal done is the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks boast the best pitching prospect in the game, and his name is Archie Bradley. He is no stranger to these pages, but in my opinion, he makes the most sense for both teams. Here's why.
The Rays are looking to maximize their return for Price, and to do so, they need a close to major league ready starter in any package for Price. Asking for Bradley and an infielder like Chris Owings, could be a solid return for Price. Owings is ready to challenge for a major league job at either shortstop or possibly second base. With Yunel Escobar at shortstop, the Rays could move Owings to second base, and put Ben Zobrist in right field, or even first base. He has played all over the field for the Rays over the past few seasons, so why not first base?
Bradley could be ready to fill a rotation spot as early as June of 2014, but the Rays are usually patient with their prospects, so they will probably let him pitch in AA/AAA to get more seasoning, with a possibly cup of coffee in September.
Trading their best prospect for Price is no easy task for the Diamondbacks, as they like to build from within, from their own farm system. Budget constraints also come into play as they cannot spend like division rival Dodgers. But, they might be more driven than ever to trade for an ace in an effort to compete with their new hated rival Dodgers. It is pretty obvious the Diamondbacks really have it out for the Dodgers, as just a few weeks ago, manager Kirk Gibson took a jab at the Dodgers in an interview regarding the two game series between the two teams in Australia in 2014.
Diamondbacks GM Derrick Hall and owner Ken Kendrick have even taken the chance to speak their minds about the Dodgers celebration in the pool at Chase Field after clinching the National League West.
Could their anger lead them to dealing their best prospect to get the ace that they need to compete in the NL West? I think it could happen, but you don't trade six years of the best pitching prospect in the game for JUST two seasons of Price. The Diamondbacks would then have to sign Price to a long term deal. Otherwise, a trade of this magnitude would not be worth it for this franchise.
As a Dodgers fan, i prefer not seeing Price in a Diamondbacks uniform.
Let us know your thoughts on this speculative trade idea in the poll and the comments below.
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