When word broke that Gavin Floyd was signing with the Braves on Saturday afternoon, there was some confusion. Floyd was hardly the frontline starting pitcher most wanted the club to go after this offseason, and there was a chance he wouldn't even pitch until the All-Star Break as he recovered from Tommy John Surgery.
Thanks to some great insight from MLB's Mark Bowman, we now know why the Braves weren't able to land someone like David Price or Jeff Samardzija to serve as a potential No. 1 or No. 2 starter next year. On Price:
With this year's free-agent pool not containing an ace, Price has stood as the only one that has been available (via trade) since the World Series concluded. If there were any doubts about the fact the Rays are looking for a significant return in exchange for Price, they were confirmed when the Braves learned the cost would likely include Alex Wood, Christian Bethancourt and at least two other top prospects.
That's completely reasonable. Granted it's a high price to pay for a guy with only two years of team control left, but the Rays weren't going to give away a top-15 pitcher for nothing. Some team with a deeper farm system will probably be able to make a similar deal, and both organizations will benefit greatly from it.
Now for Samardzija; when I opined that the longhaired fireballer would make sense for the Braves, I wrote this:
Now I'm not going to pretend like I know what Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein would want in return for Samardzija, but I can't imagine it would be a king's ransom. Granted they won't just give him away for pennies on the dollar coming off a pretty rough season, but it wouldn't require what it would take for the Braves to land someone like David Price.
Turns out Chicago wanted a King's ransom and then wanted to sleep with the pretty princess the night before the wedding. From Bowman, emphasis my own:
While thoughts of landing Price might have only existed in the fantasy world, the Braves were genuinely interested in finding out what it would take to bring Samardzija to Atlanta. That interest quickly died when the Cubs indicated they would be looking for a return package that included either Jason Heyward or Justin Upton.
Note that it says "return package." So even if the Braves were going to trade one of the better outfielders in baseball, it sounds like they might've needed to throw in a prospect or two to sweeten the deal.
I love the offseason. The next couple of weeks will likely be pretty slow, so consider this your asinine trade rumor of the day.