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Chicago Cubs: David Price Moving to the North Side Next Winter?

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 06: (L-R) Manager Joe Maddon #70, General Manager Andrew Friedman, Pitcher David Price #14, Pitching coach Jim Hickey #48 and Bullpen coach Stan Boroski #50 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate Price's Cy Young award as presented just before the start of the game against the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field on April 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Jared DwyerCorrespondent IIIApril 18, 2013

In December I posted an article asking the question: “Has the Cubs’ Rotation Improved from Last Year?”

Within that posting I quoted a tweet taken from ESPN’s Buster Olney’s twitter account after a short…err, discussion…with a fan wanting to know his thoughts about David Price being traded that offseason.

Buster tweeted back the following:

“@Buster_ESPN December 13, 2012

One more thing about the Cubs: I don't think Price will be traded until next winter, but by then, they could be well-positioned to land him.” 

Four months later, it appears nothing has changed.

In an interview on Wednesday with Mut & Merloni on Boston’s WEEI radio, Olney reiterated his belief that the Cubs should still be considered the frontrunners to acquire David Price if Tampa Bay decides to move the Cy Young Award winner.

Buster Olney mentioned that if the Cardinals decide to get involved in the theoretical bidding war for David Price this winter they could dip into their stockpile of young arms and “blow everybody out of the water.”

He also brings the Red Sox into the conversation of possible trade partners in the possible David Price bidding war.  But despite being in the same division Olney did not discount the Boston’s chances as completing the trade.

“Tampa Bay would probably not be thrilled about the idea of delivering David Price to a division rival, their big thing is to get return value. And if the Red Sox had the best offer on the table for David Price, the Rays wouldn’t say no because they would have to face him.”

Even still Olney stated “I still think the Cubs to me would be the most likely team to get him.”

Through a combination of prospects available to offer and ability to offer a contract extension lucrative enough to satisfy last season’s Cy Young Award winner and 2010 runner-up—which Olney says “the Cubs certainly can” and the Red Sox “can if they choose to”—the Cubs do look the favorites...in theory.

Yet, nothing is certain regarding Price’s availability this winter.  Nor is there any indication Jed Hoyer would consider trading away any of the Cubs top prospects—and you know it will take a few. 

Hoyer and Epstein have spent their entire tenure with the Cubs re-building the Cubs’ once-depleted farm system.  Do you think they would consider pulling such a move even if it meant bringing a top-flight pitcher to the North Side?

But the fact that a well-regarded baseball writer such as Buster Olney not only chooses to make such a claim a year before he believes this will occur, but then restates his opinion four months later, one would have to consider that there really is something to the story.

Otherwise why would Olney continue to proclaim David Price will be available this winter?

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