The Chicago Cubs are said to be interested in Detroit Tigers ace David Price.
It’s a move that should come as no surprise because Price’s former manager from his Tampa Bay Rays days, Joe Maddon, now is the skipper of the Wee Bears.
Still, the move could have big ramifications for the St. Louis Cardinals.
While the Redbirds currently enjoy a 9-game lead over the Cubs, it could be big problems for St. Louis to face Price and Chicago’s off-season free agent acquisition, Jon Lester, in a potential playoff match-up.
The Cardinals have been allergic to lefty pitchers in recent years. Price and Lester would give the Cubs a chance to send two of the best southpaws in the National League to the hill five times in a seven-game series.
If there is one weakness on the St. Louis roster that I worry about the most, it’s a big game stopper. That role, so masterfully performed by Chris Carpenter in the 2011 stretch run and playoffs, was supposed to go to Adam Wainwright this year.
Wainwright couldn’t do the job in 2014 because of an injury that weakened his performance in the post-season. Ultimately, it may have cost the Cardinals a World Series appearance. This year Wainwright is shelved after tearing his Achilles tendon.
The Cardinals were linked to Price several times last season before he eventually was dealt by Tampa to Detroit.
The rumor centered on Price being shipped to St. Louis for the Cardinals’ top prospect, Oscar Taveras. It never happened, and now Taveras is gone. So it wouldn’t seem like the Redbirds would have the players to trade to block a Chicago move, if they were so inclined.
The best thing on the Cardinals side so far is the fact that the Cubs are said to be unwilling to serve up a big package of prospects to send to the Tigers for a rental pitcher.
However, while some speculated St. Louis passed on local product Max Scherzer last winter so they could make a run at Price this off-season, I doubt the Cardinals would be willing to out-bid the Cubs on the open market.