For those contenders looking to add quality pitching before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, you may have to pay more than you want to. Especially if your target is the Rays’ David Price.
Price had a rough start to the season once again, but he has righted the ship, and looks poised to dominate down the stretch again. Whether it is for the Rays or someone else, that remains to be seen.
Here are some eye-popping stats that could push the price on Price even higher, if that’s possible.
Price currently has 144 strikeouts to just 14 walks. Only three pitchers have ever sustained that pace over an entire season. The first was Jim Whitney with the 1884 Boston Beaneaters (he had 270 strikeouts that season!).
Bret Saberhagen recorded the highest K/BB ratio in history at 11.0 in the strike-shortened 1994 season, while with the New York Mets.
The last one? None other than Cliff Lee in the 2010 season that he split between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. The price for Lee during that 2010 season? Texas gave up Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Josh Lueke and Matt Lawson. If you’re keeping score at hom, that was four prospects for Lee.
The Rays will likely demand something in the neighborhood of that to land Price.
In the past 100 years, there have been just eight pitchers that have had five consecutive double digit strikeout games. Price accomplished this feat yesterday against the Pirates.
What kind of company is he keeping? How about Randy Johnson, who did it a record eight times in the modern era. Pedro Martinez did it six times. Nolan Ryan did it three times. Johan Santana, Curt Schilling, Dwight Gooden, and J.R. Richard each did it once.
Clearly a talent like Price is hard to come by, so you can bet someone will pry him away from the Rays. There were reportedly a dozen scouts from other teams at the game yesterday.
Where will he end up? Your guess is as good as mine, but look for a deep with deep pockets….and deep prospects.