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Rumor Mill: Cubs, Giants look at alterntives to David Price

Some of the most mentioned landing spots for top free agent pitchers have been linked in rumors to other options.

According to an ESPN report, the San Francisco Giants have discussed a potential trade with the Atlanta Braves for former St. Louis Cardinals hurler Shelby Miller.

Meanwhile, reports that the Chicago Cubs have had a face-to-face meeting with Jeff Samardzija about a potential reunion.

Both of those clubs, as well as the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals have been linked as potential future homes of David Price, Zack Grienke and Jordan Zimmerman.

It would be interesting if those potential deals went through because it would seem much less likely that the Giants and Cubs would continue to fish in the deep end of the pitching pool.

Chicago leadership has repeatedly said that the team will hold the line on payroll at $130 million in 2016, seemingly putting them out of the market for more than one premium player.

So would the acquisition of Samardzija as a third started behind Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester satisfy Theo Epstein’s urge to shop? Or would the signing of the cheaper pitcher allow the team enough wiggle room to still pursue a top pitcher like Price or offensive help in the form of St. Louis outfielder Jason Heyward?

The Cubs are projected to have already have $100 million committed to next year’s roster. But they could save some money if the front office is able to trade away Starlin Castro’s contract.

The Giants would seem to be more satisfied with Miller than in making a free agent splash. Whiile a lot of money has come off the books in recent years with the expiration of the awful contract passed out to Barry Zito and the free agent defection of Pablo Sandoval. But, in the wake of Zito deal, it hasn’t been the Giants normal course of action to spend big dollars and top free agents.

With the potential elimination of the Cubs and Giants from the bidding for top pitching, will that depress the value of David Price to the point that the Cardinals could have a legitimate chance of landing him?

The Dodgers claim that they’re going to try to reduce their $300 million payroll starting in 2016. They seem most likely to try to keep their own free agent, Grienke, as opposed to going with different high-priced pitcher.

The Red Sox, as recent history has shown, are willing to spend ridiculous amounts of money on player who catches their fancy. More than anything else, Boston needs pitching. But would the lefty Price want to pitch in front of the Green Monster in Fenway Park for a rebuilding Boston team?