The Giants remain in contact with the Rays about two well-known trade targets, David Price and Ben Zobrist. According to a source with knowledge of the discussions, the Rays are looking for quite the haul. In return for either Price or Zobrist, the Rays want four of the Giants’ top prospects, headlined by Kyle Crick and Andrew Susac.
On the surface, there are no plausible reasons why Tampa Bay would retreat from these demands before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Several teams are interested in both Price (his last two starts: 16 innings, no runs, nine hits, one walk, 14 strikeouts) and Zobrist (who’s played at least eight games this season at second base, shortstop, right field and left field). Plus, the Rays probably feel less like a “seller” these days after winning 15 of their last 19 games.
If the Giants relent and a deal gets done, it would equate to chopping the top off their farm system. However, the Giants are preparing for a difficult pennant race. They’d love to add one of the best left-handed starters in baseball, not just to solidify their rotation but to keep him away from another National League contender.
Zobrist isn’t as big of a name, but he’s a top prize just the same. He’s versatile and productive; he makes financial sense for the Giants, thanks to a $7.5 million TEAM option for next season that’s attached to a relatively cheap $500,000 buyout; the market for players like Zobrist is active — both the A’s and Blue Jays are interested in an upgrade at second base.
Brian Sabean has made it known several times that there are no “untouchables” in the farm system, which wasn’t necessarily a shocking revelation. Even Crick isn’t breaking the top 25 on any MLB prospect lists, and he’s the Giants’ top guy.
That the Giants are at least considering a big splash type of a deal is intriguing, but it’s also interesting to learn which players the Rays are targeting. The folks in Tampa Bay have gained a reputation for stockpiling young talent, and to see that they like Crick and Susac (although not enough to pry away Price or Zobrist without other prospects getting added to the deal) shows at the very least that the Giants have two guys in their organization with some value.