The Los Angeles Dodgers have let the Tampa Bay Rays know that they have interest in acquiring ace lefty David Price, reports Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.
The club is not expected to be aggressive in its pursuit of the 2012 AL Cy Young winner, per Hernadez, they just wanted to let Tampa Bay know they're around should a trade become a more tangible possibility -- kind of a "if you need anything, here's my card" type of discussion.
The Rays' trade history since Andrew Friedman and company took over is one huge lesson in how to trade productive big-league starters for a bevy of cost-controlled prospects. The Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza and James Shields trades all followed this model, each bringing in a larger haul than the last, so any deal for Price is going to have to include a small handful of notable minor-league names.
The Dodgers don't have much in the way of big-name prospects and are reportedly unwilling to part with one of their biggest, outfielder Joc Pederson, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN, so just how involved they'd be should Price trade talks ramp up remains to be seen.
The team does have two very interesting young guys in third baseman Corey Seager (19) and left-hander Julio Urias (17), but there's no word on their availability at the moment.
Los Angeles' rotation for 2014 looks incredibly formidable long before David Price joins the equation. The top three of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu are locked in for the foreseeable future, veterans Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are expected to return from injury, and strong young arms like Matt Magill and Zach Lee could make their presence felt early next spring. And, of course, the club has already added Dan Haren to the back end.
Price, 28, still has two years remaining until he hits the open market, but is slated to earn north of $13 million in arbitration this winter. The salary figure would be much higher than anything the Rays have paid to employ a starting pitcher in quite some time, maybe ever, hence their apparent willingness to trade Price.
The lanky left-hander dealt with some struggles and injury problems early on in 2013, but still put up Cy Young-worthy numbers by the time the end of the year rolled around. He finished the season with a 3.33 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and a league-best 1.3 BB/9 in 186⅔ innings.