Sunday, November 22, 2015

David Price Makes Sense for a Lot of Reasons

David Price is the starting pitcher on this year’s free agent market that would make any team better. The Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series and would vastly improve having Price on their staff. So would the New York Mets, although not vastly with their crop of young aces in the making, as Price would bring a veteran leadership and presence that the team missed last season. Price would be the ace on every team with a losing record in 2015 and would likely be the ace of 90% of the playoff contending teams in 2015, including the New York Yankees. 

We all know the reasons the Yankees should sign Price because every blogger, writer, fan and beat writer has been preaching about them all offseason long. Price has been the ace for every team he’s pitched for and led the Tigers and Blue Jays in 2015 with a 18-5 record with a 2.45 ERA, 1.076 WHIP and 6.4 WAR according to Fangraphs. Price will only be 30-years old on Opening Day and despite a few innings on his left arm, and his playoff struggles that are well noted, I think New York still has a few reasons to sign him that maybe you’re not hearing about. 

After the 2017 season the New York Yankees could potentially lose four pitchers out of their starting rotation leaving just Luis Severino and Adam Warren as viable options. CC Sabathia’s contract has a vesting option for the 2017 season and Masahiro Tanaka’s contract has an opt-out clause written into it that he can exercise after the 2017 campaign. Alongside those Yankees teammates are a pair of right-handed power pitchers that will be in their final season of arbitration eligibility in 2017 meaning they can both test the free agent waters before 2018 in Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi. Having Price not only softens the blows if potentially all four of them walk away, and honestly I can’t even see all four of them hitting free agency at the same time, but he can also be used as a negotiating tool against them as well. 

Assuming the health and productivity of Tanaka improves on or matches his 2015 totals you have to think the team brings him back while you also have to assume that Sabathia’s days as a Yankee are over no matter what in 2017 but what about Eovaldi and Pineda? Both have injury question marks surrounding them entering 2016 and while a lot can happen, either way, between now and the end of 2017 having Price softens the blow either way. Sitting at the negotiating table with the agents for Eovaldi and Pineda with Tanaka, Price and Severino leading your rotation is a lot different than sitting at that same table with those same agents having just Severino and Adam Warren, who to this point has never started for an entire season, anchoring the rotation. 

The Yankees want Price anyway, they were reportedly willing to give Severino up last season as long as Price came with an extension window and willingness to stay in the Bronx, so why not just get him? The free agent market dries up a bit over the next two seasons and the Yankees have their arms hitting free agency soon. Fill a hole now, eat the salary and relish in the dividends when those big contracts come off the books after the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Plus maybe save a dollar or two down the road while truly putting a “World Series caliber” team on the field next season. 

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