Would Rays Have Gotten Less For Price In Offseason?

Should The Rays Have Waited To Trade David Price?

David Price

The most popular question, at least among those unimpressed by the return the Rays got for ace David Price on Thursday in the three-way deal that sent him to Detroit, was why they didn’t wait until the offseason.

The simple answer is because the Rays were convinced they would have gotten less then. “Somewhere,” executive VP Andrew Friedman said, “between a good bit less to dramatically less.”

In reality, they were pleased to get as much as they did, with 25-year-old lefty Drew Smyly, 23-year-old infielder Nick Franklin, and 18-year-old shortstop prospect Willy Adames.

So why couldn’t they have gotten more, or at least as much, if they kept Price and waited until the winter?

For one, teams are clearly more reluctant to trade their top elite-level prospects, the kind with “can’t miss” labels such as Wil Myers, whom the Rays got from the Royals in the December 2012 James Shields deal.

Friedman said it has clearly gotten to the point where those prospects are “overvalued,” meaning the currency for these type of deals has changed. And, while cyclical, that wasn’t going to flip back by this winter.

On top of that, no matter how well Price pitched the rest of the season, his value was only going to go down.

For more on this story, visit Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times).