Toronto Blue Jays: Was David Price Really Worth the Risk?
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So there you have it – as reported by sportsnet.ca, 2012 Cy Young winner David Price is now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. And all it took was giving up their number one prospect, as well as two other pitching prospects for a player who could be gone in as little as two months.
The Los Angeles Dogers were reportedly also in the running for Price. However, in the end Toronto came up with a package that not only shocked me, but scared off the Dodgers.
In case you can’t tell, I’m not entirely thrilled with this move. However, it has absolutely nothing to do with Price – the guy is a stud – and everything to do with losing Daniel Norris.
The thing is, I haven’t even got a right to be miffed by this deal. As can be seen in other articles on this site, I was a strong advocate for going “all in”, to improve the Blue Jays at the deadline, making me a major hypocrite.
(I genuinely believed Toronto were in position to finally break their postseason drought – the longest current streak in all of North American professional sports no less. All they needed were a couple of key additions.
In some respects, that’s exactly what they’ve got, in the form of Price and Troy Tulowitzki? But at what price I ask you?! At what price?!?!)
Apr 19, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Daniel Norris (32) throws a pitch during the first inning in a game against the Atlanta Braves at Rogers Centre. The Atlanta Braves won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
If I’m honest, I wasn’t too bothered to see Jeff Hoffman go, despite the 22-year old himself being ranked as the number three prospect in the Blue Jays organization. It’s losing Norris that is really grating on me.
Don’t get me wrong, in the short term Price represents a major boost for the pitching staff. He is 9-4 this season in 21 starts, including an extremely impressive 2.53 ERA, which is on course to represent the second-best of his professional career.
(Actually, here’s a fun fact for you – Price is 7-0 with a 3.86 ERA in nine starts at the SkyDome. This is his most wins without a loss in any MLB stadium.)
The problem is, exactly how short term is this deal likely to be? The 29-year old is set to become a free agent after the season is over.
Has Alex Anthopoulos had some kind of assurances that Price will negotiate a new contract with the Blue Jays before his current deal runs out? If so, then I will find losing Norris a little easier to deal with. A little.
Of course, what would also help is if the five-time All-Star does in fact provide a shoot in the arm to the team, and helps lead them to a first postseason berth in 22 seasons. However, if this doesn’t happen, and Price does skip town, the deal will be – quite rightly – regarded as a disaster.
Anthopoulos’ job is on the line, which likely explains why he has taken such a risk. We will have a better idea of what his legacy as general manager in Toronto will be, sometime around the end of September.
Good luck Alex, I hope you know what the heck you’re doing! (And for the record, I have absolutely no problem with being proven wrong in my thoughts about this trade.)
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