Industry sources; Dodgers’ strategy to acquire Price and Tanaka

d price trade dodgers

This is the time period when we hear endless reports of teams being interested in each free agent. But the qualifying offer clubs may tender limits markets. “The value of draft choices is greater than ever,” says one GM. “If a team signs a player who has been made a qualifying offer, the team not only loses the draft pick, but the money for that slot.

“So,” says the GM, “if the Dodgers signed a free agent who’d been, made the qualifying offer, they lose the pick and the $1.2-$1.5M slot off their total draft allotment. That will restrict some free agents.”

Because pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza were traded in mid-season, they are not subject to draft compensation. “So they’re going to do better than an Ervin Santana, if the Royals make the qualifying offer.”

But, suggests several general managers, the Dodgers can avoid the loss of their number one pick and the slot money if they trade for David Price and get Masahiro Tanaka from Japan. “They have the minor league talent to get Price,” says one GM. “If they would trade Corey Seager and Julio Urias (the 17-year old lefthanded pitcher) and a couple out of Zach Lee, Joc Pederson or Chris Withrow, it would get it done. Then if they post $80M for Tanaka, they could have a rotation with four number ones and a number two with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Price, Tanaka and Hyun-Jin Ryu. But if they were to trade for Price, they’d need the draft pick to fill holes in their development system.”


  1. RallyMonkeyUSA says:

    Why trade away the farm now when the dodgers can sign price next year in free agency? Dumb. Ned and the dodgers will get tanaka and wait on billingsley or bring up zach lee as the 5th starter this upcoming season.

    • It’s almost comical that this theory was signed off by b/r editors. So the Dodgers would be left with no minor league prospects and next year STILL pony up big money just to keep him? Maron!

    • Because he isn’t a FA until 2016, two off seasons from now. Lee would be part of the package too.

      • RallyMonkeyUSA says:

        Hes arbitration eligible in 2014…and the rays will not be close on the number he will likely get.

        • So? He can not sign with another team until after the 2015 season. You clearly don’t understand how arbitration works. Arbitration eligible, that means if he and the team he is with can’t agree on a price, then an arbitrator decides the price for them. He can’t just walk to another team through arbitration.

    • perfectly said…if Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu–and hopefully Tanaka can’t get it done along with a combination of Beckett, Billingsley, Lee, etc. as the 5th, there’s some other big problems with the team that Price isn’t going to fix. To win in October, 3 solid SP’s are needed, not 5. Please don’t give away the farm for a 4th #1. Those pieces–at least some of them, will become extremely valuable in the next year or two–and we want to see them become so while wearing Dodger blue!

    • Because Tampa already said they will be trading price this year. & if the Dodgers don’t make the move, they won’t get him.

      • … No?

        Everything you’re reading is media speculation. It’s a probable event, so it can happen, but it’s not something that guaranteed to happen.

        Rays are not obligated to trade David Price if they don’t find themselves the right deal.

        In fact, the Rays could probably wait to the 2014 trade deadline if they wished.

        • So you think prices value will be higher at the deadline as opposed to trading him now to the Dodgers? No way. There’s no guarantee, once the season starts, that price will have the same value to the Dodgers as he does now. The same way the Dodgers have no guarantee Billingsley or beckett give them anything. Trading price to the Dodgers now is best for business for both teams. It gives the Dodgers that other number 1 they desperately needed to beat St Louis and Tampa gets 2 more studs to add towards their future. It’s probably the easiest trade to ever be made. And as everyone knows, there’s no such thing as “sure things” when it comes to prospects.
          Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying it’s definitely going to happen now. I’m just giving my opinion as to why it should be done now as opposed to during the season.

  2. Pete seems to be losing his marbles.

  3. neurogame says:

    Don’t go after Price – With the exception of James Shield, the prevailing pattern has been the Rays’ soon-to-be-free-agent haven’t put up star quality numbers. Seager is “supposed to be” our future 3rd baseman and LA currently has a gaping hole there. Forget Price. Just get Tanaka – all that you lose is money while you keep your prospects and draft picks.

    • Screw the prevailing pattern, Price isn’t Garza or Shields, he is better than both, in his prime and not as old as them, and a former cy young winner. Price is an ACE. He would give the Dodgers a deadly top 3 in the playoffs of Kershaw, Greinke, and Price. Get Tanaka too and the Dodgers would have 5 guys (including Ryu) that could perform well in playoff games. Dodgers should be focusing more on upgrades at 3B and C and middle relief before pitching as the rotation is the least of the Dodgers problems.

      • neurogame says:

        Price and Tanaka – brought to you by the Department of Redundancy of Redundancy. They’ll likely get just one of them, not both. The bet’s on for Tanaka as though he is unproven in the big leagues, he’s younger than Price and won’t cost the farm system.

        AJ Ellis won’t be supplanted as starting catcher as everyone on the staff loves throwing to him and his patience at the plate is a good influence to have in the lineup. They just need a 1-2yrs stop gap contract at 3rd.

        • AJ Ellis is a below average catcher offensively and defensively. His talent is that of a backup catcher in this league.

          • neurogame says:

            Wow. I thought I was bantering back & forth with someone who had been playing close attention to the Dodgers!

            AJ Ellis is one of the best defesive catchers in the league. If you endeavor to check MLB sorted defensive metrics, he’s ranked 8th among catchers who have only played (not taking into account starting) at least 50 games. He’s ranked ahead of Yadier (albeit Yadier has a significantly better bat and his defense is more feared).

            Ellis has caught the 2nd most base stealers in league. Amongst the top 15 catchers in innings caught, AJ is tied for 2nd with the least amount of errors. I won’t go on and on about his stats as it’s right there on the MLB website for you to verify.

            I agree that it would be nice to upgrade offensively at catcher. But who’s available via FA or trade? Don’t say McCann – He’s been injured A LOT and do you want to spend big dollars on a catcher with an injury history, forfeit a draft pick to the Braves AND risk having FedEx start multiple games with a very expensive pitching staff? AJ is fine. The rest of the starters need to stay healthy and pull their weight in salary.

          • Lexi Ronson says:

            Catcher defensive stats are highly flawed, almost to the point of being worthless.

          • neurogame says:

            I agree they are flawed – For instance just because Ellis threw out more runners than Molina doesn’t mean he has a better arm or technique than Yadier. It’s that runners are more aware of Yadier’s defensive prowess and know the odds are against them for trying.

            But I disagree in the stats being worthless. There needs to be a way or scheme to determine the effectiveness of catching performance, so unless you come up with an alternative rather than merely subjective judgement and casual observation of games, the rankings and defensive stats will be readily used.

          • errors and throwing out runners isn’t the only thing that determine good defensive catchers. He absolutely sucks at blocking balls and it showed multiple times during the season each and every game he played.

          • neurogame says:

            You haven’t even offered a solution to this big catching problem you believe is present. Just complaining.

            “.. errors and throwing out runners isn’t the only thing that determine good defensive catchers.” Duh.

            I related earlier I wasn’t going to drone on about the measurable stats. They’re readily available on a single page if you care to actual peruse them. And in terms of sucking at blocking balls, you probably remember more about Game 6 than anything else. But Game 6 was more about Kershaw’s pitching performance and the offense being stymied. This is a team that went 42-8 with AJ as constant behind the plate.

            Here are some free agent catchers for you to choose from: McCann, Soto, Navarro, Saltalamacchia, Ruiz (35yr), Pierzynski (37yr). Not impressive. And McCann isn’t worth a big money contract.

          • No, I remember constantly getting PO’d ALL year because he didn’t know how to catch/block a ball. Why did the Dodgers lose game 2 in the NLCS? Because AJ ellis couldn’t catch a freaking strike allowing the runner to advance to third on a passed ball and he eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.

          • neurogame says:

            Yes, exactly! AJ was the reason. It had nothing to do with the entire lineup not being able to hit with runners in scoring position (0-6). Or the fact that although Crawford may be a good defender in LF, he has a below avg arm. Silly.

            I get it – AJ has his flaws. But the alternatives (you have yet to even talk about one solution) are no better. He is a great game-caller and has a good rapport with the pitchers.

          • Lou Dawgg says:

            @ Matt, you’re an idiot.

          • Mikie Rotten says:

            Lou, I completely , whole heartily agree, Matt should be banned from posting. Matt you just lost your L.A. privileges.

          • LOL. .238 batting average is terrible and he can’t block a ball to save his life. Sure call me an idiot, but you are just oblivious to facts.

          • Matt, I agree with you. Ellis is not the hitter the Dodgers expected. I hope they look at McCann or Saltamachia.
            They both would be a step up from Ellis. They should just let him go or keep him as a back-up.

      • Matt I agree with you but there isn’t a good 3rd baseman available, not even a shortstop to move Hanley over to 3rd.
        Their better off getting McCann and going after Price and Tanaka. With this starting five we won’t need much of a bullpen.
        But they should re-sign JP Howell and go after Jesse Crain.

  4. Rigged4fun says:

    By trading prospects the Dodgers are going the way of the Yankees….old, expensive, and a non-contender down the road.

    • Lexi Ronson says:

      16 years down the road like the Yankees? I’ll take it. Price will never see free agency. The Rays will trade him to someone who will lock him up. If the reports are true that ownership is pushing hard to win now at all expense, then that is what it means, at all expense. Prospects save clubs money. If the Dodgers don’t care about saving money, then prospects have very little value to the Dodgers.

  5. Trade the Dodgers future 3rd baseman (16th best prospect via Keith Law) in Seager, what some say the best pitching prospect in baseball in Urias, plus two top 50 guys in Joc, and Zach Lee. for Price + Having to dish out a 160 million dollar contract for him. Thats laughable, no way the Dodgers do that.

    • With Ned Colletti at the front of baseball operations, I wouldn’t bet against it.

    • Who says they would trade Seager?? I don’t think the rays need a 3rd baseman they have a pretty good one by the name of Longoria.
      Who cares what prospects we trade, I rather trade maybe’s for a Cy Young winner right now. Plus if they land Tanaka!!! We would have the best pitching staff ever. They should try and sign Brian McCann and re-sign JP Howell and either Uribe or Young to 1 year contract.
      I would also look at Jesse Crain.

      • I was referring to the quotes from the rival gm, and Seager is playing SS right now and is expected to switch to third in the near future, but can play ether. I’d trade 2 of the four, but all four is ludicrous. Would rather sign Tanaka, and give the 5th spot to bills, or Lee.

        • Bills may never be the pitcher he was and Lee is a maybe. The dodgers have traded a lot of their top pitchers and so far they haven’t done much. The question is would you rather have Price or Lee?
          I would take Price in a heart beat over any pitching prospect we have and a couple of other prospects.
          I would rather have the best and youngest starting five for the next 5 to 6 years over any maybe prospects.

  6. Let’s not forget that a WS winner only needs two #1 Starters.. if that.. we need to keep joc and seags.

    • Really, how’d that work out for the Dodgers this year? Or Detroit or St Louis? No one is going to tell me they Kershaw & Greinke, verlander & scherzer, & Wainwright & wacha wasn’t and isn’t better than the sox top 2. Problem was, none of those 3 teams had a better third starter then the sox. And that includes ryu, Lynn & Mr up n down Sanchez.
      If the Dodgers have price & Tanaka next year, I’ll hand over the world series now, barring injuries.

      • tarentius says:

        Nonsense. Lester and Lackey outpitched Scherzer & Verlander and Wainwright and Waha. Period. Come the playoffs, w-l records don’t matter. Check Jon Lester’s post season record and there is no pitcher you mentioned better than him. Period.

        • Are you serious dude? Game one, Sanchez out pitched Lester. Game 2, scherzer was dominant, their pen blew that game. Game 3, classic, lackey got the better of Verlander. Game 4, fister out pitched Peavy. Game 5, Lester was strong & did his thing. & game 5 buccholz didn’t even last long enough to get a win, scherzer again, out pitched his counterpart. Difference in the series is the pens. & for you not to, forget about even knowing that, but acknowledging it, this discussion is over. Because clearly your a Sox fan who can’t give credit to anyone.
          Congrats on the WS win, but please don’t comment again, unless you bring something tangible and credible to the conversation.
          And btw, just for the fact that you even think Lester is better than Kershaw, without saying it, shows your baseball IQ.
          Happy Sunday.

      • Yes really, the most important thing is that they’re all hot at the right time.

        • I definitely agree about getting hot at the same time. I’ve always compared a pitching staff in the post season to a goaltender in the playoffs. Hottest always win. I will give you that. And they did that against St Louis. But Detroit out pitched the Redsox in their ALCS. The Sox pen was just better.

  7. Joe Cummings says:

    I would LOVE to see Price in Dodger Blue. And you all know he’d love it too after they showed him mad respect with a gift basket when the Rays visited L.A. this past season. The gift basket FOR HIS DOG!

    Giving up Joc Pederson I could go for: logjam in the outfield anyway. Giving up Zach Lee too. With that rotation the Dodgers would have their pitching staff set for the next 4-5 years and would be able to reload with all of the arms they’ve been drafting out of college.

    Giving away Urias and Seager though would be a no no. NO WAY! Seager is our future third baseman and looks like he has some great potential. Hell, he may be an all star when everything is said and done. And Urias IS ONLY SEVENTEEN! He’s been striking out grown men since he was fifteen and he’s only going to get better! One day HE will be the dominant pitcher everyone will be talking about!

    Would love to see Price in Dodger Blue. But not at that asking Price!

  8. Lexi Ronson says:

    Nobody said to trade Kershaw for a vet in 2010. Find me one respected analyst, reporter, heck, even a blogger who said that.

    • The “experts” on ESPN710 Sportstalk radio LA were calling for it every day for months, even in to early 2011, in particular Mark Willard, and others, and later on I’m pretty sure including Max Kellerman after he came on in late 2010.

  9. Vin Smith says:

    …The Dodgers desperately need Price and Tanaka. Why? They were a very weak club in 2013! Don’t think so? That 30-42 record screams so. What happened is, the Dodgers have a manager who is top-of-the-line, though management doesn’t seem to understand that. Second, Crawford and Kemp are definitely injury prone; ethier is starting to age; Puig started the year in AA ball, and still needs seasoning; Mark Ellis is an unspectacular second baseman, Hanley Ramirez is as injury prone as Crawford, Kemp and even Ethier (at times in 2013), Uribe seemed to be playing on fumes this season, and will likely regress badly in 2014; about half their starting rotation was on the shelf in 2013; A. J. Ellis, while playing a solid season, is nowhere near the top of his profession; the Dodgers depth is mostly ho-hum journeymen players, and at times their relief corps seemed to be made up of players pulled out of a hat–though Jensen and Wilson were superb. Depth? What depth! They were a team put together by a great manager, using duct tape, WD-40, Gorilla Glue and media hype gloating over a bloated payroll. Here is what would happen if the Dodgers were to stand pat… That 30-42 record would replicate itself over a 162 game stretch. The Dodgers need Price and Tanaka, plus a legitimate slugger–in his prime–who can play the outfield corner positions, as well as first and possibly third base, while retaining their four high priced outfielders. Do that, it is quite simple. Three big pickups–Tanaka, Price and a big bopper, then give Mattingly a long extension. Do that and the Dodgers will have a Detroit/Texas type multiple season run. Oh… And lock up Brian Wilson, to go along with Kenley Jensen.

    • Top-of-the-line manager? You have GOT to be kidding. The empty uniform non-manager, who only got his job because he was Joe Torre’s pet squirrel, is a total incompetent. The team will never, ever, go any further than they did this past season with him as manger, and likely will not get that far again. “Weak club” Seriously? the best starting pitching staff and closer in the NL? Adrian Gonzales, monster, solid, consistent at first? Great second halves when some semblances of health from Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, and Juan Uribe, plus the untapped talent of Yasiel Puig? Mattingly made every bad decision and got the club buried, and that was his fault, for using the likes of Justin Sellers and Dee Gordon instead of Nick Punto for months at short, for using Brandon League as the closer instead of Kenley Jansen, for keeping Luis Crus at 3B for six agonizing weeks, etc., etc., etc.

      The team is talent rich, with a two-cent, empty uniform, non-manager!

  10. This whole, let’s not trade away the Dodgers future is laughable. And saying they’ll be the Yankees down therroad, are you people crazy?
    Kershaw is 25, Greinke 30, price 28, ryu 26 & Tanaka isn’t even 25 yet. And if no one thinks that trout or Harper, when they both hit FA will be a Dodger, not even in their prime, again, you’re crazy. The Angels can’t afford trout & Harper already said he won’t stay in Washington. That’s the highest bidder getting one. And the Dodgers will have more revenue to do it. This is a new Dodgers regime, they want to win WS now. And if they pull off trading for price & get Tanaka, they’ll win a WS or 2.

  11. Jack Madoff says:

    This logic that the Dodgers should deplete their farm system to avoid
    losing a precious first round draft pick is mind boggling. How is an
    unknown draft pick more valuable than a teams top prospect, or 2, 3 4 of
    the teams top prospects — who might have very well been former first
    round draft picks. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  12. Why is everyone hung up on prospects. 90% of the top prospect don’t pan out anyway. I would rather have a young proven player who would help us win then worry about prospects. The Dodgers are locked-up in the outfield for the next 5 years and 1st base for another 5. The only prospect I would consider keeping is Seager cause we could use him very soon. Other then that who cares what we give away as long as we build a winning team now and for the next 4 or 5 years.