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January 24, 2014

Overthinking It

Internet Commenters Try to Trade for David Price

by Ben Lindbergh

Last winter, baseball fans were convinced that the Marlins would trade Giancarlo Stanton. More specifically, baseball fans were convinced that the Marlins would trade Stanton to them, and were happy to speculate about how that might happen. I wanted to know what they thought it would take to get him, so I poked around Twitter and forums and comment sections until I'd collected a Stanton trade proposal for each of the 29 teams. This was the takeaway:

So that’s Giancarlo Stanton’s market value, according to internet commenters who want him to come to their teams: not much. Ultimately, we're all convinced that we're above-average drivers, and that we're better looking than we actually are, and that our teams would have no trouble trading for Stanton.

David Price entered this offseason as the star most likely to be moved, but like Stanton, he's thus far stayed put, giving bored people with keyboards and internet connections plenty of time to draw up deals that they think would sway the Rays. Price's value isn't quite as high as Stanton's was last winter, but in the same spirit of discovery, I've re-scoured the places where people post trade ideas and found examples for each team. To any general managers who might be reading: feel free to use these.

(First note: Since I was searching for proposals made since the end of last season, some of the players mentioned have already changed teams, though not as part of packages for David Price. Second note: The screenshots are linked to their sources, so you know I'm not making them up. Third note: Please, no Price puns in the comments section. I just saw so, so many.)


Get your story straight, Angels fans. Is Trumbo untouchable, or is it okay to consider trading him for one of the best pitchers in baseball?



"I wouldn't trade anyone who could possibly be good. I would try to convince a team to give me a top prospect for someone awful, then package that prospect with someone else who was awful for Price."

Blue Jays:

Sure, you could try to give the Rays money to let you have Price, but it sounds like a lot of trouble. Would be way easier to cut out the middleman:


That bullpen arm better be an all-expenses-paid Craig Kimbrel with another player hidden in his back pocket.


Any proposal that involves breaking the rules of baseball automatically merits a mention, but adding an expensive player at a position where the Rays don't need help makes it special.


If there's anything that the last several seasons have taught us, it's that the Rays are stupid, so I like this one's chances.


Still against the trade, even if the rules of the sport can be bent to allow the Cubs to trade a player they haven't picked yet.


Thrown in Archie Bradley and Gerardo Parra, and Kevin Towers is on board.


"Look, Andrew, you're getting Zach Lee whether you like it or not. But you do have a choice between draft picks we aren't allowed to trade you and a guy who makes more than David Price but isn't as good."


"Oh god," said one front-office source I sent this to.


An unusual case: A commenter who's willing to way, way overpay for a player.


There are many Mariners trade proposals for Price out there. If yours doesn't have the word "Walker" somewhere, or at least a "Zunino," it's probably not one of the more plausible ones.


lol like you thought there would be one for the Marlins


They should. They really, really, should, if it turns out that David Price might miss the whole season and his cost comes down accordingly.


Playing pretty fast-and-loose with the word "prospect" in a couple cases there.


This is downright reasonable! If the Orioles weren't in the AL East, and thus almost certainly out of the running, there'd be nothing snarky to say.


Often the sticking point is that the other team wants one of the key guys.


The best response to this was right below it:


"And if that's not enough, I drop the Clint Barmes bomb."


To be fair, this was before Holland got hurt.

Red Sox:

It's just like the Hanley Ramirez-for-Josh Beckett deal, except that Boston will have to face Bogaerts 19 times a year!


Come on, man. No one is going to give you that GM job you've been commenting toward if this is your pitch.


The rare terrible trade proposal that's contingent on another move being made first.


We thought last winter's Wil Myers masterpiece couldn't be topped. But dammit, Dayton, you've done it again.


After all, Kinsler makes more than twice as much as Ben Zobrist, so he must be twice as good.


Eddie Rosario: Because the best prospect in baseball alone wouldn't get a deal done done.

White Sox:

Last year, the White Sox were the only team whose fans seemed to accept that they weren't getting Stanton. Whereas every other team had one crazy commenter who was willing to put a proposal out there, White Sox fans were resigned to tweeting, "We don't have the assets."

A trade for Price was so far off the fanbase's radar that I couldn't even find someone saying that they weren't going to get him. So in lieu of an actual trade offer, here’s Darius Rucker singing, "I Got Nothin.'"


Last year, a Yankees commenter crafted the platonic ideal of a terrible trade proposal: David Phelps, Adam Warren, David Adams, Eduardo Nunez, Melky Mesa, and Corban Joseph for Giancarlo Stanton. This is your classic, "You give me one superstar, I'll give you a bunch of barely useful spare parts of who will take up six of your roster spots" swap, which depends on one team believing that the winning return is always the one that weighs the most.

Another Yankees commenter tried to top that with this proposal, which came in response to someone named Steve who (correctly) suggested that the Yankees might lack the minor league talent to trade for Price:

Price for Ivan Nova and Zoilo Almonte...I'M LISTENING. Throw in Phelps, Warren, Nunez, and Joseph, and you've got yourself a deal.


Least Understanding of League Strength

Most Confused About Baseball Terminology

Best Burn on Dave Dombrowski

Least Understanding of Transaction Rules

Saddest Trade Suggestion

Worst Talent Evaluators (Tie)

Best Price Trade Proposal Involving Mike Trout

Best Price Trade Proposal Overheard on Sports Radio

Ben Lindbergh is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ben's other articles. You can contact Ben by clicking here

28 comments have been left for this article.

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