M's rumored, lightly, for Zobrist + Price
Well, it is late July, after all


This is just a first-generation triangulation, which is the hardest.  As y'know, SSI is a think tank.  Help us out here.

The thing I like best about a Price deal, is that (1) if you cough up Taijuan, you might get a value on Zobrist, and (2) I think K-Pax is a good ways ahead of Taijuan in line.


Franklin + ? for Zobrist

According to the best sources, which are okay sources, "has been going on for weeks."  This pairing of names is all over the place.  It's logical of course, especially the positions.

It says here that you've got the definition of a win-win, balanced trade.

Franklin and sweeteners for --- >a final puzzle-piece type guy?  You tell me.


Sense and Sensibility, Dept.

According the the MGL Axiom and according to Dr. D's observations, the most recent predent is the most important one (thought not to say the definitive one).  There was just now a Grade A starter sold on the white market for $101 simoleons.  Let's be clear about it:

Player Ability  SSI Remark
Samardiza Grade A

"Super-sexy" upside and club match

Hammels Solid #3 SP

Better than, e.g., Chris Young or Roenis Elias

Addison Russell, SS spect

1-10 prospect in MLB The glamor club-controls 4 WAR guy
Billy McKinney, class A CF Throwin Baseball HQ grade:  8D (cf Tyler O'Neill, M's)
Dan Straily AAA SP One good year, then imploded (cf Erasmo Ramirez)

In other words, the Cubs accepted a single K-Pax, Taijuan-type prospect in return for ---> Jeff Samadjiza and a good bit more.


Fans consistently put together a package of "three jaw-dropping prospects" for 

a single playoff difference-maker - with 1 year left on his contract.  Then they write complaining that any single 2-WAR rookie, by himself is worth more than the incoming superstar.  :- )

This is understandable.  But let's be clear that a great many trades involve no such thing.  This is an important The reality of July trades do not jibe as closely with MLBTradeRumors as we fans believe they do.  Well, maybe with Tampa...


King Richard for 25% of Everything England Owned

If there's one thing all of the "okay" sources agree on, it's that the Rays are demanding a Lionhearted-esque ransom for David Price.  (The Duke of Austria, in 1192 A.D., captured Richard and demanding 25% of everything England owned, public and private.  He got it.)

The Rays, some rumors (r-u-m-o-r-s) have it, want something akin to Taijuan, D.J., Franklin if not plenty more.  For SSI, that's just the end of it.  

We do not need pitching anyway!  The gap in ERA+, between Oakland/Seattle and the world, is vast.  We just used our pitching to take down the 1,000+ run /A's.

There's a bunch of outrageously discouraging pap about "the Mariners are playing for one game, on the road, against a better squad."

They are (1) playing for a 2013 World Championship.  One game on the road would be the worst thing they would receive for a playoff qualification.  And the 2015 fan following that resulted.  To characterize the entire 162-game season as "playing for one game" ..... wow.

(2) The Mariners need only a tiny lead -- or none -- to start a Cy Young pitcher (Felix or Iwakuma) in that "one game against a better squad."


Deconstructing Taijuan

Taijuan has, the last 2 years, been one of the "potential Cy Young perennials" in the minors, along with Archie Bradley.  James once said the Red Sox ignore these players because "whoever they are, you can't trade for them."

Meaning, it could easily be that Taijuan -- whose career ERA in the bigs is 3+, and who has passed the MLB test with great makeup -- is at least as "sexy" as (say) Addison Russell.

Look, LrKrBoi29.  You go trade for Archie Bradley or Stephen Strasburg or Gerrit Cole.


That said, Dr. D's last two looks at Taijuan -- in the majors -- brought two mildly negative reports:

  • He seems farther away than we thought (that's no tragedy, but could affect his Net Value over 6 years)
  • His overhand shoulder impingement is unpleasant (so was Roger Clemens' as a 22-year-old)

But Dr. D., latest evidence in, is back to his original and usual position.  K-Pax is protected on SSI's expansion list more than Taijuan.


That said, I'm wavering a little toward Taijuan-for-Price if there is reasonable hope of Price extending.  But of course not if it takes Cameron's "Price, plus your next two best, plus more."

Taijaun and a bit?, for Price, and Walker for a bit?, for Zobrist ... SSI is in the mood to do this.


Mariner Brainstorm

Spectator laid all this out in a related variation on July 7, proposing a 6-for-2 that bears on the Rays rumor today:




Dr D's remark
Price, TB Playoff nightmare in Seattle Tampa to deal with
Jennings, TB 4 years of club control, 110 OF A bit
Elias, Sea #3-4 starter, maybe fading 6 years club control, CJ Wilson stuff
Franklin, Sea   He and light ? = Zobrist; he and 0 = Jennings
Farquhar, Sea 10K+ reliever "Sexy" #3, impact NOW, cheap player
Pike or Sanchez, Sea #5 and #14 org Victor Sanchez top-200 spect; Diaz 100-150.  Beane-type pilfer


Cancel the fraction, by clearing Jennings vs Franklin, and you've got Spec offer 5 quality (not glamor) prospects --- > to induce the Rays to pull off Taijuan-plus.  

That is one whale of a lot of quality offered.  Danny Farquhar himself is very hard to acquire; remember when we've needed a single relief ace to stabilize our bullpen?  (The Rays are #12 in the league in bullpen WAR.)  I remember Lou Piniella complaining bitterly, "for a #2 starter they want THREE (3) players off your 25-man roster."  Seattle, in effect, coughs this up -- plus 3 significant prospects.

In principle, this is Dr. D's roto approach for sure.  And Billy Beane enjoys scanning down a prospect list, and selecting those he believes in.  (Suppose the Rays wants Edwin Diaz instead of Victor Sanchez?)

The Rays go for this, beautiful.


Dr's Prognosis

Any time he can bait-and-switch Quantity for Quality, that's Dr. D's roto game.  You've got that 25-man roster thingy.  

Taijuan, Kivelahan, and Almonte, Dr. D is softening up to consider that for Price :- ) but then they owe you a concession back by softening on Zobrist / Jennings.  Can't ask for everything.


Strategic Concerns

It's a lot easier to upgrade a 60 player to a 90 player, than a 100 player to a 130 player.  The M's are not forced to do something stupid for Price.

Too bad we can't get a deal like Beane got, though.


Dr D








The main complaint with the Rays is: Not only are they greedy and unreasonable and stingy, they are world class stallers. It reminds of that time Scott Boras had Prince Fielder on his books and held up an off season until February. (Isn't it interesting that the Rays and their agent doppelganger never work with each other?)

In that off season, 2011, the Mariners didn't sign Josh Willingham for a modest amount, or one of many other fine players, even though he fit the team like peas and carrots. The Mariners waited too long, like the old maid from Duluth. The result has been pain and trauma.

Do the Mariners let history repeat itself? These Angels and Orioles are not going to crush themselves. It would be nice to have the new weapon(s) on hand in case they become unruly. And, nowhere is it written that the Rays won't leave the Mariners at the altar at the trade deadline.


Everyone is assuming that Price is PERFECT. The pitcher who will guarantee ANY team a wild card spot...
A couple OTHER numbers...
147.2 - number of innings Price has thrown in his 20 starts this year
186.2 - TOTAL number of innings Price threw last year
224.1 - Most innings Price has EVER thrown in a regular season
250++ - the number of innings Price will throw if he stays on his current pace to finish the regular season if he only goes 7 innings in 14 starts... could easily be over 260 at end of season with a 15th start
100.3 - average number of pitches per game by Price last year
110.9 - average number of pitches per game by Price THIS year
26.1 innings / 5.06 ERA / 0 wins 4 losses in 4 starts - Price's record in the play-offs...
Yes Price is very good. I do not deny that... but Tampa KNOWS they are going to trade him. Tampa is grinding every ounce out of him before they trade him.
I am sure Jack and his team are not idiots, and they should be especially conscience of the wear on pitchers arms.... so I doubt they will pay TOP dollar for a pitcher that may not have enough in the tank to get through the play-offs.... but near top dollar... maybe.


Great points - TR. The extreme way Tampa has used Price this year sets up an overpay for whomever trades for him. IMO, Tampa has not yet counted itself out of the race for the AL Eastern Division Title, due to the weakness of the other teams and Tampa's good play before the ASB. Tampa is going to squeeze every possible inning out of Price trying to get back into contention, and then will only trade him for top dollar if their FO throws in the towel for winning the AL East. The smartest guy in the room, Billy Beane, talked with Tampa for a few days and moved on. If the M's don't have Plans B & C while dealing with Tampa, they are fools. Somebody is going to overpay for Price, or the Rays won't move him. Watch out, Jack, you're dealing with sharks.


...is that we've (reportedly) been "discussing for weeks" a Franklin 'fer Zobrist deal.  For weeks?  Holy snot.  Zobrist (who I am not in love with like others) is cheap, short term and a quality pro.  We're trading Franklin, anyway.  Are you telling me that the hold up is the add-ins that we include?  There are about 3-4 bats that we won't include (DJ and Wilson, for example) and yet we can't find the right guy to throw in to make this happen?  Or the right two?  Something is amiss.  Either the story is, or the "Sharks" in TB sense out weakness and are circling ever closer for the kill, or they don't really want to do the trade or we don't have the huevos to pull the trigger.  Are you tellng me that if we said, "OK, Ackley and Franklin, take it or leave it.  Today only!"  that they wouldn't take it?  I would be very surprised.  
I'm probably one of the few guys who would rather we get the cheap-for-three more years Jennings, BTW.  Stick him in CF, be happy.  His career .270-..362-.453 vL would be quite useful, thank you.  And right now I'm discounting any Saunders help for the rest of the meaningful year.
Or get Grichuk/Souza/Rios. But that is another post.
Walker and Farquhar for Price?  I must admit to also not being in love with Price, in some respect.  Here's a question for you.  If you could only sign one of Price or Iwakuma after '15  (Price will be 30, Iwakuma will be 34.5) for 3 years who would it be.
Personally, for the next 4 years I will take Kuma.  I don't hink we can sign them both after '15 (considering Kuma's arb $).
Price's ERA+ has been 108-150-115-117 over the last 4 years.  He, he isn't Kershaw or Koufax or the Big Unit.  He isn't Kuma.  On a dollar per dollar basis,  get me a bat.  

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