Monday, July 28, 2014

Outfield Might Prevent LA Price Shopping

Speculation still abounds that David Price is headed toward Los Angeles. And although Doug Wachter at thinks the Cardinals and Braves are probably bigger contending suitors, he did mention the Dodgers as a potential destination:

Price is the most prominent name rumored to be on the move, and with his track record the former Cy Young winner is likely to command a massive return if the Rays do decide to deal their ace. Price's strikeout rate this season is easily a career best, and he is also limiting the free pass more effectively than ever before. Price is inducing grounders at a lower rate than he has in the past, instead relying on his outfield to convert additional fly balls into outs. Everything about Price's stats suggests a career year, except for his results, which have been negatively impacted by Tampa's uncharacteristically poor defense. The Rays have totaled minus-26 runs saved, which would be the worst total for the franchise since they put up an MLB-worst minus-81 runs saved total in 2007. [...]

Los Angeles Dodgers: The final NL contender for Price's services is the financial juggernaut in Southern California, who may be looking to turn Zack Greinke into the most overqualified third starter in the history of our national pastime. While the Dodgers certainly have the money and the blue-chip prospects to get a deal done, Price's declining ground-ball rate could be a concern. While the Dodgers may have four outfielders on big contracts, none of those four has shown an ability to play center field to a level acceptable for one of the top teams in the league. Matt Kemp, in particular, has been the worst defender in baseball over the past five seasons, costing the Dodgers an MLB-worst 84 runs as compared to average defense while serving as their regular center fielder.

Wow, so our outfield defensive woes actually might supersede picking up a key starter? Interesting shift of perspective.