Looking for a Big Trade
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Currently the Baltimore Orioles sit atop the American League East by three games. As of right now, it appears as though the Red Sox and Rays, who are both 9.5 games out at the moment, are out of the division race already due to inconsistent pitching and a lack of production from their bats.
That leaves the O’s, Blue Jays and Yankees. In the coming weeks after the All Star Break, it may become a two horse race, or should I say a two bird race with the Orioles and the Blue Jays. The Yankees, it seems, will continue to slip lower and lower in the division because of the season-ending injuries four of their five starting pitchers have sustained over the course of the first half of the season, including their ace Masahiro Tanaka.
With this being said, if the Orioles want to continue to stay not only competitive, but atop the AL East, the organization will need to trade for a starting pitcher. There have been trade rumors going around concerning pitchers, David Price and Cliff Lee. Personally, I would love to see Price in a Baltimore uniform over Lee.
Price’s ability to strike batters out and go deep into games is something this 2014 Orioles team has been lacking. And with the hot-and-cold style of Miguel Gonzalez and Ubaldo Jimenez, Price would be a breath of fresh air for the Orioles.
The Rays have already made it known that they would be willing to trade Price to another AL East team as long as the price is right. The question is: What is the right “price” for Price?
There are hundreds of different combinations of players the Orioles could offer the Rays for Price, but here is one of those possible trade proposals.
The Orioles know they need to capture the Rays’ attention with their proposal to stand out above the other Major League clubs who are trying to get Price as well.
Big names and big prospects are something the Orioles have in their back pocket to work with. The “big name” player the Orioles have for the Rays is Chris Davis. Many Baltimore fans will probably read that name and stop reading this piece immediately, but allow me to explain.
Davis is currently batting .197 with over 100 strikeouts (105) already this season. Although he has helped this team gain respect over these past three seasons, he is doing nothing but hurting this ballclub as a surefire out in the No. 5 hole.
If the Orioles are serious about making a run at the World Series this year, this type of performance is unacceptable.
However, for the Rays, Davis might be the guy they need. Currently, James Loney is the first baseman for the Rays and is performing quite well; batting .274 with 44 RBIs. I do not see Davis stepping in and “dethrowning” Loney from first base. I do see Davis taking over their designated hitter role though.
Right now, David DeJesus is the Rays DH, although right now he is on the 15 day DL. DeJesus is batting .269 with a .367 on-base percentage. What Davis offers that neither DeJeus nor really anyone else on the Rays roster can offer, besides Evan Longoria, is power. Davis has more home runs this season than anyone on the Rays roster. His power and track record would be enough to get the Rays attention.
In order to “seal the deal,” the Orioles would have to give up one of their big prospects. One of which may be Dylan Bundy. He is on the road back to the Majors at the moment, after having Tommy John Surgery last year. Bundy is the Orioles No. 1 prospect and when he was drafted back in 2011, he was anticipated to be the Orioles ace in future years.
Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Would the Orioles really part with their top-ranked prospect? It all depends on if Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette agree the Orioles are good enough to win it all this year with the players they have because with having to resign a lot of players like Nelson Cruz, Manny Machado, and Nick Markakis, the Orioles may have a totally different look to them in 2015.
Because Davis and Bundy are top-quality talent, the Orioles could try to get a left fielder along with Price by the name of Matt Joyce. In 2014, Joyce is batting .269 with 36 RBIs and seven home runs.
So there is my trade proposal for the Orioles to make to the Rays. Davis and Bundy for Price and Joyce.
If it were to go through, the Orioles could place Joyce in left field; set Cruz as the all-time designated hitter; and move Steve Pearce from left field to first base.
Whether this is a viable trade proposal remains to be seen. If the Orioles are serious about winning this year, they will do anything and everything in their power to trade for a true ace that can put this team over the top and into the 2014 Postseason.