In 2008, when the Milwaukee Brewers thought they needed to rent an arm for the homestretch, general manager Doug Melvin swung a deal with the Cleveland Indians for former Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia.
The Brewers might take the same route again in 2014.
According to a report, the Milwaukee Brewers were one of several teams that had scouts at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., Wednesday afternoon to look at Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price, a former Cy Young winner who, like Sabathia in 2008, will be a free agent at the end of the season.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) June 25, 2014
Price won the AL Cy Young Award in 2012 after going 20-5 with an American League best 2.56 ERA and a 1.100 WHIP in 31 starts. In 211 innings, Price struck out 205 hitters.
This season, Price is an uncharacteristic 6-7 with a 3.63 ERA and 1.089 WHIP in 17 starts as Tampa Bay—a playoff team four of the last six years, is floundering along with the worst record in baseball at 32-48.
Price pitched a dandy on Wednesday, working into the ninth inning of the Rays’ 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing just a run on five hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts.
Price has walked only 14 batters this season in 124 innings.
A three-time All-Star, Price is 1-4 in the postseason with a 5.06 ERA and 1.313 WHIP in nine appearances, four of them starts.
He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2008, when he earned the save for the Rays in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, also earning a win in the series.
But he has lost all of his four postseason starts, including last season, when he was tagged for seven earned runs in seven innings of Tampa Bay’s Game 2 loss in Boston.
He leads the American League this season with 144 strikeouts, but has also given up 16 home runs—most in the AL.
He was the first overall draft pick by Tampa Bay in the 2007 first-year player draft out of Vanderbilt University.
ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported (subscription required) this morning that the Rays are ready to deal Price now:
Only the Tampa Bay Rays know for sure what will be deemed acceptable for David Price, or when they’ll be ready to say yes. But rival officials are monitoring the market in the way that meteorologists follow weather patterns and they believe that the Rays are prepared to move the former Cy Young Award winner. As in, right now.
Price’s gem against the Pirates came a day after he told reporters that the trade rumors were getting annoying.
“I mean, obviously I think about it,” Price said Tuesday. “That’s why I’ve been in a bad mood the last week and a half. I think about it. You guys know that. And it’s nothing I really want to talk about.
“I don’t have an answer for you guys. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know when I’m going. So there’s nothing I can really comment on.”
Price is earning $14 million this year, avoiding arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal in January.