Peter Gammons: David Price and next year’s free agent pitchers

david price rays

General Managers are closely following two concurrent pitching stories: the estimates that Masahiro Tanaka could get $120M—or more—from the Yankees or Dodgers, and that David Price may well start the season with the Rays. It’s all about the cost of acquiring front line pitching.

Prior to the winter meetings, Tampa had felt out several teams to gauge Price’s market. Now they are leaning to seeing where things stand near the July deadline, traditionally a better time to move pitching, and if they can win 90 games for the 5th time in 6 years and have a shot at the World Series, they’ll ride it out with the Cy Young Award winner.

The Rays have found that even though Price isn’t a free agent until after the 2015 season, giving up three or four top prospects and shelling out market dollars seems terribly steep.

Go down the list of some of the other pitchers who will be free agents at the end of the 2014 season:

  • As Ken Rosenthal reported this morning, Clayton Kershaw’s deal with the Dodgers may be done this week, but it will total somewhere between $200-somethingM and $300M.
  • James Shields has made it clear to the Royals that he’s thinking about a Zack Greinke deal.
  • The Red Sox don’t plan to even begin addressing Jon Lester’s representatives at ACES until spring training, same as the Reds with Homer Bailey.
  • Then you have Max Scherzer and Justin Masterson.

They’re all looking at Tanaka thinking, “Yes I can.”