Friday, December 06, 2013

What's the right Price? Houston, we have a solution!

Since the mystery of Robinson Cano and Jay-Z has now been solved, we can turn our attention to the fate of Cy Young winner, David Price. At the ripe age of 28, Price is in his perfect prime. Tampa Bay has shown time and time again that it's perfectly happy to part ways and to inherit up and coming prospects, rather than pony up.

Still under team control for another two arbitration eligible years, Price is estimated to earn about $25 million over the next two seasons. Last year, Tampa paid a reasonably efficient $719,897 per win. Not half bad, especially compared to your World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, who paid a cool $1.7 million for each win, or the dreaded Yankees, who paid just under $3 million dollars per win!

Lots of names are being thrown around for Price as is the norm. Some include Seattle sending Nick Franklin and Brad  Miller for Price, others involve Pittsburgh. Deemed as the "now winniest" decision a competitive team (other than the Rays) can make this off season, the question at hand is not if, but when and where Price will land.

There are some interesting discussions to be found not in Seattle or Pittsburgh, but rather in the team that was the most efficient in terms of cost per win: The Houston Astros.

The Astros paid a paltry $425,000 for each of the 51 wins they managed in 2013. They also have one of the deepest farm systems in the majors.

Consider hitting prospect Jonathan Singleton. Singleton (age 22) failed a second drug test last January and ended up sitting for the rest of the season. He's found his power again in the Puerto Rican Winter League and looks like he's ready to make his way to the bigs at around the same time that Wil Meyers came up for the Rays last year. This is not to mention that the Rays perpetually seem to have troubles at 1B. Having a promising powerhouse like Singleton would be a great addition.

Another great Astros Prospect is SS Jonathan Villar. This kid has good instincts, but sometimes a sloppy defense. If he worked in the Rays system, he could project very high and allow Ben Zobrist to actually just play 2B for a change.

Then there is 6'3 RHP Jared Cosart who throws mid 90s, but posted a 35:33 BB/K ratio in 10 games at the end of last season. This kid is just the kind of guy the Rays look for. He's got some mechanical problems that Jim Hickey can work him through and bring back to form.

After all is said and done, the Astros could part will all three of these guys for David Price and still be projecting to be competitive in the next two years. The question is will they pay the Price?

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