Buster Olney of ESPN reported via Twitter:
Giants checked in on the David Price sweepstakes, but haven’t gotten into any sort of exchange with the Rays yet.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 11, 2013
Price won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season, but he earned more than $10.1 million last season and is arbitration eligible for next year with a shade more than four years of big league service time.
The 28-year-old bounced back from a rough start last season. He went on the disabled list in mid-May with a triceps strain and up to that point was 1-4 in nine starts with an ERA of 5.24 and a 1.436 WHIP in 55 innings—hardly Cy Young-esque.
After returning from the DL on July 2, Price was David Price again. He went 9-4 in 18 starts with a 2.53 ERA and 0.957 WHIP in 131.2 innings with 102 strikeouts and just 13 walks.
Overall, he was 10-8 in 27 starts and 186.2 innings, with a solid 3.33 ERA and 1.098 WHIP while tying with Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox for the American League lead with four complete games. He also led the AL with a 5.59 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
Price was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Vanderbilt University and didn’t take long to get to the show—he made his major league debut on Sept. 14, 2008, and was on the mound in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series that season against the Boston Red Sox, coming into a bases loaded situation with a 3-1 lead and getting the final four outs as the Rays clinched their only trip to the World Series.
He’s been almost exclusively a starter since returning to the majors early in the 2009 season—the Rays had him in Triple-A until late May, thus delaying the start of his free agency clock. He made one relief appearance in 2010, but has started 146 games.
In his Cy Young winning season of 2012, Price was 20-5 with a league-leading 2.56 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, with 205 strikeouts in 211 innings.
The problem for the Giants is that a deal for Price would require lots of young talent, at least some of it major-league ready, and the San Francisco farm system isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with that sort of talent at this point.
The Giants’ top prospect is right-hander Kyle Crick, who pitched in High-A ball in 2013. The closest thing to a major-league ready prospect they have is 24-year-old left-hander Michael Kickham, who didn’t exactly set the world on fire in 12 appearances for the Giants last season, recording a 10.16 ERA and a 1.98 WHIP in 28.1 innings.