David Price is overrated

He's very good, but buyer beware before they trade the farm

Updated: December 21, 2013, 11:57 AM ET
By Jared Cross | ESPN Insider

David PriceKim Klement/USA TODAY SportsDavid Price has been helped by a lot more than just the Rays' stellar defense.
David Price, unquestionably one of the best pitchers in baseball, is reportedly on the trade block. He is one season removed from a Cy Young award, has the fourth-best ERA in the American League over the past four seasons, mixes a 94 mph fastball with plus secondary pitches, has been exceptionally durable and is under contract for two more seasons.

In spite of all of that, teams would be wise to keep in mind that he is not nearly as his good as his numbers suggest.

A pitcher's ERA is, of course, affected by his environment -- including his catcher's ability to frame pitches, the range of the defenders behind him, the strength of the batters he faces and the dimensions and prevailing weather conditions of his home park. Price -- as well as the rest of the Rays pitching staff -- gets a big boost as a result, and we can quantify it.