Danny: This right here maybe should be the only trade we spend considerable amounts of time discussion. The talking heads love the idea of sending David Price to LA, and also hate the idea of the Dodgers letting their prospects slip away.
The thought process is that the Rays would ask for Joc Pederson, who would be manning center field for the Dodgers right now if not for the four starters they already have on the roster (for three spots, hello NL). They would then ask for INF Corey Seager, who is demolishing the minors this season. They would then ask for Mexican-born seventeen year old southpaw Julio Urias, who might be ready for a September call up. They would then ask for even more, like Zack Lee and other pieces. This is why a trade hasn't happened.
Apparently, Andrew Friedman is a ravenous beast going after all the prospects in the Dodgers system. This is most likely true, but is it fair?
Scott: My feeling is that they're going to declare Seager off limits and really try to hang onto him because Hanley Ramirez is set to become a free agent after this year, and the Dodgers probably still played in Brooklyn when Juan Uribe's career started. With both positions on the left side of the infield opening up soon, they'd certainly love to keep a potential All-Star and middle of the lineup bat. He's going to get on base and hit for power, most likely as a third baseman.
As you mentioned, Pederson is the odd, odd man out with their crowded outfield. He's a good defender in center field, but it's more likely he ends up in a corner if he joins the Rays. Fortunately, he has the bat to profile there. Despite a pretty high strikeout rate, he'll hit for a solid average and has potential for some 20-20 seasons with his power and speed. He should probably be in the big leagues now, and he probably would be with just about any other team.
Urias could be the best of the three. The Futures Game all-time roster is a who's who of future big league stars, and he's the youngest to participate in the game's history. It's easy to see why with a fastball that can reach the mid-90's complemented by two potential plus secondary pitches. Not only that, he generally throws strikes. If he was American born, he would be starting his senior year in high school next month. Since he's not, he's already pitching in the Cal League. I'm assuming he has yet to face a batter younger than him as a professional.
Danny: I found it interesting that Corey Seager wasn't highly regarded by Baseball America or Baseball Prospectus on their mid-season lists -- No. 16 and No. 19, respectively -- when Keith Law had a pretty strong argument for a Top-5 placement, if you move him off short.
My question is who, if anyone, will be off-limits in LA? There's hype behind Urias, as you said Mexican born and clearly a phenom in the LA hype machine, but the Dodgers might be most foolish to try and move Seager with so much need incoming. Then again, the Dodgers might get desperate for that title. When the Cubs can swing the trade they did, why not ask for the world?
The best part about the Rays asking for too much -- if that is the issue at hand -- is that the Dodgers have needs across the major league level that need filled, and the Rays can answer every hole. David Price effectively replaces re-injured Josh Beckett, but they do have need of a back up catcher (Jose Molina), and there's a couple plus relievers we could add to the mix (Juan Carlos Oviedo, Grant Balfour)
Let's say the Rays are only after two of the big three prospects in the Dodgers system. In that scenario, I would focus in on Joc Pederson and Corey Seager, who in my mind are the less risky choices. I think there's too much hype on Julio Urias as it is, and that Dodgers fans would also be loathe to see him go. Let them keep this young phenom, give me the productive players for the line up and a starter forced out of the rotation in Zack Lee, then build from there.
Rays receive: SS/3B Corey Seager (AA), OF Joc Pederson (AAA), LHP Tom Windle (A), LHRP Onelki Garcia (AAA), and RHP Misja Harcksen (Netherlands)
Dodgers receive: LHSP David Price, C Jose Molina, RHRP Juan Carlos Oviedo
The way I see it, if the Rays can't rope in Urias, they should go for some other international signings and see what the Dodgers might part with.
Scott: Shooting for two of their big three is a reasonable and I think achievable goal in a Price deal. I'd do that because talent is talent, even if they're not getting a top pitcher back. If Seager and Pederson pan out, run scoring will probably never be a problem in the next five to six years, which will probably please a lot of fans.
I'd still prefer to get pitching back in the deal, although I do understand the risk when it comes to Urias. Pitching prospects are hardly ever a sure thing compared to hitters, but I think his youth is mitigated by how advanced he is. He's shown he belongs in high-A, and he could be in the big leagues soon.
The Dodgers have been careful with his workload, and I'm sure the Rays would continue that. They can't totally prevent injuries, but gradually building up a young arm's workload probably can't hurt. The downside is that we've really yet to see him turn over a lineup multiple times. He's only faced a batter three times in a game a handful of times in his career, and he has to show he can do that with entire lineups to be a big league starter.
As far as the other players go, I'm not concerned about losing Molina or Oviedo. Oviedo's contract is up, and they can save $2.75 million next year without Molina. Windle isn't a bad target as a big lefty with a mid-rotation ceiling, and Garcia's sudden entrance and exit just before the 2011 draft started was one of the best things surrounding the draft in recent years. He's not bad at baseball either.
Danny: If the Rays need to go after more pitching, do they aim old or young? If they go old, RHP Zach Lee (AAA), LHP Chris Reed (AAA), or RHP Matt Magill (AAA) all seem like reasonable gets, but I'm not in love with any of them.
If the Rays want to aim young, a crop of international free agents could be enticing. Perhaps one of Lenix Osuna, Victor Gonzalez, or William Soto? All seem like exciting players for high school aged prospects, and Osuna has pedigree and a great baseball name in general (Lenix -- normally spelled Lennox -- is King Lear).
Scott: I'd put Chris Anderson in that first group as well. Like Lee, he began the season as a top 100 prospect according to Law, and he's experiencing a rough season that might land him outside that list now. He continues to have problems throwing strikes, and pitching in the Cal League probably isn't helping either.
One more pitcher name to be added with the young guys is Victor Arano, but he's still further along than the three you mentioned. He's one of the youngest pitchers in the Midwest League and having success with a 23.4% strikeout rate and 4.8% walk rate. His upside isn't enormous, but he's a young arm with a potential big league future.
Danny: Any package of prospects after Pederson and one of Seager or Urias should go a long way toward replenishing the farm system. As things stand, nabbing Corey Seager could have a lot of long term upside for the Rays offense, and that's what has me most excited. If the Dodgers need persuading, perhaps the Rays could pass along one more established veteran, like Ben Zobrist or Yunel Escobar to hold over the left side long term in Chavez Ravine. Any way you look at it though, this trade opportunity is a great match.
Previously discussed: Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals