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David Price and the St. Louis Cardinals

July 4th, 2014 at 10:47 AM
By Christopher L Ballard

Reports, rumors, and stories have surfaced about the possibility of Tampa Bay Rays' ace pitcher, David Price, being traded since last season. Price, who has the remaining season and one more left on his contract, is believed to be out of Tampa Bay's price range when he becomes a free agent. So now, up until the trade deadline, is the time to move Price. The Rays will look to get as much as they can in return for the Cy Young winner before he walks for more money after next season. In some of the recent baseball news, the possibility of Price being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals has become an interesting scenario. Out of all of the interested teams, the Cardinals have the most to offer in terms of youth and talent.

The question is, what exactly would the St. Louis Cardinals have to give up to add a second ace behind the brilliant Adam Wainwright? The Cardinals have young stable of powerful arms that could gain the services of David Price. Carlos Martinez, 22, and Shelby Miller, 23, most likely hold the greatest value in the eyes of other organizations; (1) because they have been regarded as high prospects their whole career and (2) have also been successful at the major league level (3) at a young age. Other pitchers such as Joe Kelly, 26, and Lance Lynn, 27, offer value as middle or end-of-the-rotation starters. Trevor Rosenthal would likely not be included, but if the Rays asked for him instead of another player, the Cardinals might pull the trigger to get Price. Then there are minor league pitchers for the Cardinals, John Gast and Tyler Lyons, are end of the rotation starters on a number of MLB teams and could be throw in players to sweeten a deal. Combination of Miller, Kelly or Lynn and one of the minor leaguers could attract Tampa Bay's front office. Other minor league prospects could be dealt from the Cardinals to the Rays, but they would just be additions to the major league talent the Rays are looking for.

Another scenario would be for the Cardinals to offer would be a great, young pitcher and throw in a good middle of the order bat. That brings us to Allen Craig and Matt Adams. Allen Craig, 29, moved back to the outfield this year when Matt Adams, 25, became a regular at first base and Beltran moved to the New York Yankees. Both players offer something a little bit different than the other, but both are definitely capable of helping a team win games. Craig can play the outfield, where he says he is more comfortable, and also first base, while Adams can only play first base. Both players are seen as below average defenders, but to their credit, they have shown average to above average defense with the Cardinals. Adams brings more home run power to the table and is sporting a much higher batting average thus far. According to baseball-reference.com, Adams sits at .319 in 70 games compared to Craig's .252 average in 83 games. While Craig does have 40 RBIs compared to Adams' 31, it is easy to notice that he has been struggling all season. Craig is more of a solid, line drive hitter that usually hits for a high average. He also has been extremely clutch; his batting average with runners in scoring position the past two years can back that up. Shifting back to Adams now, the guy continues to hit, especially since returning from the disabled list. Since coming back from the DL, Adams has brought much needed power and life to a struggling lineup. It would be hard to see the St. Louis Cardinals part ways with a young, left-handed, power bat like Matt Adams.

The St. Louis Cardinals would have to put together a great package to acquire David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays. Of course it all comes down to what both front offices value the other team's players and what their recent scouting reports say. It is imagined that the deal would have to include a young MLB-ready pitcher as the Rays would not give up one of the best pitchers in the game and not get a starter in return. On top of that pitcher, the Cardinals would most likely have to give up Matt Adams or Allen Craig and possibly another back end of the rotation starter. The Cardinals would most likely want to move Craig in this situation to open up playing time for top prospect Oscar Taveras; and because Matt Adams is four years younger than the right fielder. Craig did sign a new contract with the club, but it is a reasonable one that will not shy away other teams. The Rays could potentially receive three MLB ready players to plug into their struggling team and not have to worry about committing a bunch of money to David Price. Tampa Bay will have enough cap space to go out and acquire other pieces to put around Evan Longoria, Wil Meyers, and the players they receive in this trade. The Cardinals on the other hand would have arguably one of the best 1-2 pitching combinations ever, at the top of the rotation with Adam Wainwright and David Price. Would the St. Louis Cardinals be able to retain him when his contract expires after next year? Is this type of move worth it for the organization? Part two will cover that aspect of the rumored and potential trade between the Tampa Bay Rays and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Seeing your team play in the SuperBowl is priceless. Watching the SuperBowl live in the stands for $1 per week is beyond priceless. Find out how at TicketScore.com, the future of Championship Tickets. Tags: Adam Wainwright, Allen Craig, Baseball, Carlos Martinez, David Price, Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, Matt Adams, MLB, Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller, St. Louis, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Rays

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