Trade Comps For a Stanton Or Price

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I’ll admit, I’ve cringed at every mention of the possibility of trading for Giancarlo Stanton or David Price.  Not because I wouldn’t absolutely love to see them in Ranger uniforms, but because I’ve convinced myself that those types of players do not get traded.  Because they don’t – at least not very often.

It isn’t just about talent.  Talented players are moved every year.  It’s about the age, and the number of years before each of these two budding superstars are away from free agency.

Giancarlo Stanton is a 6’6”, 240 lb slugging machine, a guy who hit 93 dingers before he turned 23.  He isn’t even eligible for arbitration yet, and won’t be a free agent until before the 2017 season.

Former #1 overall pick and 2012’s Cy Young Award-winner David Price is just 27 years old, coming off of the best season of his young career, and is still nearly three years away from becoming a free agent.  On top of that, he plays for the team in Florida that actually talks about winning baseball in the present tense.

Who would I rather have?  Yes, please.  If the MLB decided to start over, allowing all 30 Major League franchises to re-draft every current player (under their current contracts), both of these guys are near the top of everybody’s mock draft board.

Alas, every team in every sport will listen to offers on any player – nobody is untouchable at the right price.  Situations change – financial constraints, rebuilding, etc. can always create the perfect storm for a player of that type of caliber to be moved.

[Current weather conditions: Stanton, protected in the Miami lineup by a 34-year old Gregg Dobbs (who?), is currently batting .200/.333/.255 and is yet to homer.  Miami is 10 games out of the division already.  David Price has taken the mound 5 times this season and the Rays have lost all 5 times.  They currently sit at 4 games back in the AL East.  It’s ridiculously early, but it’s not crazy to think that Pete Delkus might start using exclamation points to describe the clouds hovering over Florida in the coming months.]

To determine the cost, let’s look at some comparable trades.  Much like if you tried to buy Hugh Hefner’s place, comps aren’t all that easy to find.  Here are a few that might give us an idea of what each player would cost.

Giancarlo Stanton
Age: 23

Position: RF

Contract status: Pre-arbitration until 2014.  Arbitration-eligible until free agency in 2017.

Remaining team control (at the deadline):  3.5 years

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Best comp: December 4, 2007 – The Florida Marlins trade Miguel Cabrera with Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for Dallas Trahern (minors), Burke Badenhop, Eulogio De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo.

Before we get too far into Miguel Cabrera’s statistics, it is important to note that Detroit also took on Dontrelle Willis who, even coming off of a couple of a rough season in Florida (10-15, 5.17 ERA), Dave Dombrowski still liked enough to immediately sign to a 3-year, $29 million extension. Willis was never effective as a Tiger, but Dombrowski obviously thought he brought value to the deal.
Miguel Cabrera

Age: 26

Contract status: 2 years of remaining arbitration (would sign an 8-year, $185 million extension 3 months later)

Remaining team control (at time of trade): 2 years

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The haul: Cameron Maybin was rated by Baseball America to be the #7 prospect in all of baseball, and Detroit’s top prospect.  Andrew Miller, the top pitching prospect in the Detroit system, was ranked as the #10 prospect that year. RHP Eulogio De La Cruz had been ranked the #6 prospect in the system prior to the 2007 season, the same year that Dallas Trahern was considered to be #8 with Catcher Mike Rabello and RHP Burke Badenhop coming in at #18 and #22 respectively.

Best stab at a Rangers equivalent offer: Rangers send Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, Jake Brigham, and Leonys Martin to Miami in exchange for Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco.

While Willis clearly played a part in the price Detroit paid, Cabrera only had 2 years of arbitration remaining, so it’s probably safe to assume that 1.5 years of control of Stanton would be, at a minimum, equal to the value of the 1 year remaining for Willis.   Miami would probably want Leonys Martin to replace Giancarlo Stanton in their OF, and the Cuban influence probably doesn’t hurt, either.  The combo of Profar, Olt and Grimm, while potentially weakened by Olt’s early performance at the AAA level, could be compared to the package of Maybin/Miller/De La Cruz in terms of value, with the remainder of the prospects given up by the Rangers outshining those that Detroit parted with in the Cabrera deal.

David Price

Age: 27

Contract status: 2nd Year Arb Eligible (Super 2).  Free agent prior to 2016 season.

Remaining team control (at the deadline):  2.5 years

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Comp 1: December 19, 2010 – Kansas City Royals trade Zack Greinkeand Yuniesky Betancourt and cash to the Milwaukee Brewers for Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi.

Every comparable trade is going to have issues that complicate it.  The Royals were rebuilding.  Greinke had requested a trade, potentially lowering his trade value by decreasing Kansas City’s leverage.  And yes, this was only a couple of years removed from Greinke’s social-anxiety issue that we now know is not an issue for him.   But he was a young ace, coming off of a Cy Young year, and had a couple of years of team control remaining.  There simply is not a ton of precedent for trading away an ace with multiple years of team control.

Zack Greinke

Age: 26

Contract status: signed a four-year contract with the Royals worth $38 million in 2009. $27 million remained unpaid at the time of the trade.  $2 million in cash was provided by the Royals.

Remaining team control (at the time of the trade): 2 years

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The haul: Odorizzi was thought to have represented the prize of the trade, a trade that resulted in the Royals acquiring some useful pieces, but nothing with a great ceiling.  Escobar was previously thought of as the Brewers top position-playing prospect (#51 overall prospect in MLB according to Baseball Prospectus) heading into his rookie season.  Cain was thought to be a safe bet to make it to the major league level, but not a super high-ceiling type guy.  Jeffress (Baseball Prospectus #72 overall prospect in MLB) was a reliever-type that hasn’t really panned out (as of yet).

Best stab at a Rangers equivalent offer:  Rangers send Mike Olt, Martin Perez and Justin Grimm to Tampa Bay in exchange for David Price.   Tampa Bay says no, and Andrew Friedman deletes whatever phone number we called from.

If you want 2.5+ years of David Price, prepare to part with Jurickson Profar plus some.  Tampa Bay is a good franchise, and while they may not want to let David Price walk away for nothing, they could certainly do better than a package of Olt/Perez/Grimm – and could probably get that level of package a year later.  The Mets just got d’Arnaud for a knuckleballer nearing the age of 40.  It’ll take a huge package.

We’re going to need a better comp.

Comp 2:  December 17, 2011 – Matt Latos traded by the San Diego Padres to the Cincinnati Reds for Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez.

Mat Latos

Age: 24

Contract Status: Pre-arbitration

Remaining team control (at the time of the trade): 3 years

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The haul: By mid-2011, Kevin Goldstein had ranked Catcher Yasmani Grandal as his #30 prospect in baseball. After his arrival in a trade that sent Josh Hamilton to Texas, Edinson Volquez’s first season with the Reds saw him post a 17-6 record and 3.21 earned run average in 196 innings pitched. Three seasons later, Volquez added just 221 innings and racked up a 5.01 earned run average over those 221 innings. 25 year old 1B Yonder Alonso was expected to compete for the Opening Day job at first base for San Diego after the trade.  After it was all said and done, Mat Latos cost the Reds three former first-round picks and a former All-Star.

Best stab at a Rangers equivalent offer:  Rangers offer Mike Olt, Alexi Ogando, Leury Garcia and Mitch Moreland to Tampa Bay, and we need another new phone number to call Friedman from.

Matt Latos is no David Price, and the Padres were, again, rebuilding.  So, again, this deal probably doesn’t land you David Price.

I’m out of quality comps.

My offer for David Price: Rangers send Jurickson Profar, Mitch Moreland, Martin Perez, Jorge Alfaro and Justin Grimm to Tampa Bay in exchange for David Price and James Loney.

Conclusion: It’ll take a pretty massive deal to get David Price, in part because a deal like that has rarely been made before by teams in similar situations to Tampa Bay.  It’s hard to imagine it happening without Profar’s inclusion, plus a handful of other high and mid-level pieces.

Without a lot of precedent, it makes it really tough to come up with the fair market value of these types of players.  On top of that, the trade market this off-season seemed to indicate that the prices have gone up (Wil Myers-for-James Shields, d’Arnaud-and-Syndergaard-for-Dickey).

How far would you be willing to go?

Robert Pike is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Robert.Pike@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @Bob_Pike

Robert Pike

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