David Price vs Taijuan Walker: Examining a Possible Trade


John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The David Price rumors just don’t quit. Even with comments from Price’s agent saying that the all-star pitcher wouldn’t sign an extension with the Mariners, but would with other teams. It’s just not that big of a deal. Price would be a huge addition to the rotation, easily giving the Mariners the best 1-2-3 staff in baseball with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.

"McKinnis’ statement caused such a flap that Price moved to re-state his stance later in the day in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.“I’m open-minded to anything,” Price told the Times. “Guess it depends on where I go — where is it and are they winning?”"

With the Robinson Cano signing, the M’s needs to go “all-in” these next few years while Cano remains one of the game’s top offensive threats. The front office is thinking the same thing as they’ve already upgraded at outfield and first base with the Corey Hart signing and trade for Logan Morrison.

David Price comes with two years of club control, during which the Mariners would be able to send him anywhere if things weren’t working out for any reason. If the Mariners were underperforming, or, if the front office just didn’t think there was a chance that Price would stay with the organization, they would be able to trade him for a fairly hefty return.

The rumored cost of acquiring Price from the Rays was Taijuan Walker and others. Since then Jack Z has gone on to say that the Mariners have no plans on trading the team’s top prospect and he sees him in the rotation at the start of the season. The new rumor of the day is that if a deal were to happen, it would include the team’s top hitting prospect in Mike Zunino along with possibly Justin Smoak and/or Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley.

"Tampa Bay is thought to be interested in Seattle pitching prospect Taijuan Walker but indicated Wednesday for the first time the Mariners might be able to put together an acceptable package without him. TNT"

The fanbase was pretty vocal about their displeasure to send Taijuan Walker in any deal, even for an established ace like Price. Count me among those opposing the deal. Even with the team having the option to regain another top prospect if they were to trade Price a year from now.

Why would you trade a 21-year old future ace for a 28-year old current ace? It’s understandable that Price has “proven” himself at the highest level and Walker has not. So let’s see how they compared to each other in their debut seasons.

David Price (2008)14.01.9339124
Taijuan Walker (2013)15.03.60611124

The sample size is small, but it’s all we have for Walker so it’ll have to do for now. The major difference in their debuts was that each of Walker’s three appearances were starts. David Price appeared in five games, one of which was a start. Price had two outings that lasted longer than 5 innings. In those two appearances, Price allowed all three of his earned runs.

It’s also worth noting that Walker made his debut at the age of 21, while Price was two years older when he debuted.

Let’s try a Pros/Cons list:

Pros to Trading Walker for Price:

  • Gain Established Ace
  • Best 1-2-3 Staff in MLB
  • Increased National Awareness
  • Ticket Sales / Fan Excitement
  • Increases Chances of Improved 2014 and 2015 Seasons
  • Price Would Net a Solid Return in a Trade if He Refuses Extension

Cons to Trading Walker for Price:

  • Giving up Young Talent For Possibly Same, Older Talent
  • Increasing Payroll
  • Losing A 21-Year Old Cost Controlled Future Star
  • Likely Only Keep Price for > Two Years

It’s a tough decision to make as a General Manager. Especially one on the hot seat with pressure to win now.

What do you think?

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