There’s almost no chance David Price is going to re-sign with the Blue Jays. Or is there?
It was essentially a foregone conclusion that David Price would not be re-signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. And yet, here we have dual reports from David Kaplan of ESPN and Baseball Essential which indicate Toronto is the number one destination for David Price (in his mind).
The reason why most have been quick to dismiss these reports is because everything else reported has run contrary in the David Price sweepstakes. If anything, it’s Chicago that’s been tabbed as the ideal landing spot for Price.
Is there any truth to these rumours or is this simply (as Stoeten mentioned at last night’s Pitch Talks in Waterloo) David Price’s agent posturing and driving up the asking prices from other teams?
Like most, I’ve basically written off any and all chances of David Price re-signing with the Blue Jays. Not that Price doesn’t want to come back to Toronto, it’s just that the Jays wouldn’t be able to match offers made by other teams who were in desperate need of an “ace”.
Here’s why I think things have changed; were Alex Anthopoulos still at the helm of the Toronto Blue Jays, they might still have a shot at re-signing David Price. Not because of Anthopoulos per se, because we’ve seen the cost-cutting measures employed by Mark Shapiro, we’ve seen his attitude towards prospect capital and building the farm system.
To me, Shapiro’s style runs counter to signing David Price to a long-term contract extension. Plus. In no way has ownership really tipped their hand as to whether they’ve even met with David Price or even tabled an offer to him.
I don’t doubt that David Price would love to come back to Toronto. The Blue Jays put forth one hell of a recruitment campaign, and that came in the form of August, September and October in Toronto. The Jays could not have shown David Price more potential than they did.
He was revered as a true superstar during that brief period with the Blue Jays. Even though Price has been the best player in the league, he really wasn’t treated as such until he came over to the Blue Jays at the 2015 trade deadline.
The fact remains that the Blue Jays need at least one more starting pitcher. Who better to sign than David Price? If they’re going to break the bank, spend a tonne of money and commit five or more years to a pitcher, why not do it for the best pitcher on the market?
Why get the BMW of free agent starting pitchers when you can go out and get the Ferrari? Say the Blue Jays are going to commit that kind of a term and that much money, why wouldn’t they get a better quality pitcher in David Price?
If I’m the Blue Jays, I’m either putting all my eggs in the David Price basket or I’m not signing another free agent pitcher at all. Why even bother going four years on Jeff Samardzija or five years on Jordan Zimmerman or three years on Hisashi Iwakuma?
Why wouldn’t the Blue Jays go for the best player they could; one who already wants to play in Toronto and has made it abundantly clear that he loves the city and loves the environment.
The Blue Jays have already convinced David Price to play in Toronto which is arguably the hardest part; swaying a free agent to come to the Blue Jays in the first place.
With David Price, those barriers have already been broken down and that comfort factor is already there. That kind of comfort level is something that’s very valuable and can be priceless. So if David Price has experienced that after spending only three months in Toronto, maybe he feels like Toronto is the long-term home for him.
The Blue Jays already check two of the three most important boxes for David Price; the Jays are poised to be a competitive team in the short term and by all accounts, Price loved playing with in Toronto.
So if the Blue Jays can check the third box (albeit, likely the most important one) which is dollars and term, then Toronto suddenly becomes an ideal destination for David Price to play out the next six or seven years of his career.
Nobody would fault David Price for signing elsewhere and going for the most money possible. But as tempting as places like Boston, New York or Chicago would be, some of those organizations would be tough sells.
Think about the Boston Red Sox; they’ve got a really tough sell to David Price after the debacle of a year they had. But the Blue Jays’ sell job seems fairly simple and it’s one that’s fresh in the mind of David Price. He has three months of great memories within this organization; something he doesn’t have with the Red Sox, Cubs or Yankees.
Dollar for dollar, if the Blue Jays were to match any other potential offers out there, I think David Price might actually be willing to accept a deal in Toronto.
Image via AP Photo/Paul Sancya