MLB rumors: Cubs are front-runners for David Price

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David Price 1-on-1 with Ken Rosenthal

The Chicago Cubs enjoyed a dream season in 2015, turning a young roster into a potential World Series contender before falling just short in the NLCS. Perhaps it was a season or two early, but it showed the Cubs that they were on the right track and one additional piece may help push them over the finish line.

Could David Price be the piece that does it?

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Chicago Cubs are emerging as the early front-runners to land the top free agent pitcher on the market this winter. In his latest article, Rosenthal cites two fellow free agent starters and an executive close to Price that feel that left-hander favors the Cubs.

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Chicago made a similar statement last winter. Feeling they were on the cusp of their youth movement, the Cubs went out and landed Jon Lester to pair with Jake Arrieta to anchor their young pitching staff. While that deal cost Chicago $155 million over six seasons, it is going to look like a relative bargain compared to what David Price will be bringing home on the open market.

The 2012 Cy Young winner has bounced around over the last couple of seasons as former teams tried to leverage value from the left-hander on the trade market. Now a free agent, Price is expected to cash in after going 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA, a 2.78 FIP, and a 9.2 K/9 ratio between Detroit and Toronto last season. Still just 30-years-old, Price is 104-56 with a 3.09 ERA in his eight year career.

It's that youth that has many experts pegging Price to be looking for a deal somewhere between the seven-year, $210 million deal Max Scherzer got from the Nationals last winter and the seven-year, $215 million extension fellow southpaw Clayton Kershaw signed with the Dodgers in January 2014.

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MLB rumors: Cubs are front-runners for David Price
ST PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 25: David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on July 25, 2014 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 19: David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of the game on July 19, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 05: David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on from the dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 5, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Rays defeated the Tigers 7-2. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 25: Pitcher David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays lifts his hat to the crowd as he comes off the mound after giving up a solo home run to Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning of a game on June 25, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 16: Pitcher David Price #14 of the Tampa Bay Rays gets acquainted with a cow before taking part in a cow milking contest before the game with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 16, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price, right, sits in the dugout during a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price delivers to the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning of an interleague baseball game Wednesday, June 25, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Price picked up the victory in the Rays 5-1 win. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price runs off the field after practice before a baseball game against the Houston Astros in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, June 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Tampa Bay Rays' David Price, left, watches from the dugout next to pitching coach Jim Hickey in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Tampa Bay Rays starter David Price pitches during a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox Saturday, May 24, 2014 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price delivers to Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, May 8, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price throws against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price and catcher Jose Molina, left, meet during the third inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price, left, reacts to third baseman Evan Longoria after Price was hit in the groin on a single by Joe Mauer during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Price was able to remain in the game. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price tips his hat to the crowd after being taken out of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, March 31, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price smiles as he walks off at the end of the third inning in the inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Port Charlotte, Fla., Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
This is a 2014 photo of pitcher David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the Rays active roster as of Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 23: David Price #14 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the game against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park on July 23, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Mariners defeated the Tigers 3-2 in 12 innings. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 21: David Price #14 of the Detroit Tigers looks on from the dugout during the game against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park on July 21, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. The Mariners defeated the Tigers 11-9. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 14: American League All-Star David Price #14 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the 86th MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park on July 14, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The American League defeated the National League 6-3. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN- JULY 09: David Price #14 of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the Minnesota Twins on July 9, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-2. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 11: David Price #14 of the Detroit Tigers gives an on camera interview during the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 11, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Tigers 9-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Toronto, Canada - July 31 - Toronto Blue Jays' newest pitcher David Price smiles from the bench during the start of MLB action against the Kansas City Royals at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 31, 2015. (Cole Burston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 31: Newly acquired David Price #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays blows a bubble from the dugout during MLB game action against the Kansas City Royals on July 31, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 3: David Price #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Minnesota Twins on August 3, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 11: David Price #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays and R.A. Dickey #43 head off the field after celebrating their victory during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics on August 11, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 3: David Price #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays before starting to pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Minnesota Twins on August 3, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- AUGUST 31 - David Price took his fifth loss of the season despite having struck out nine and surrendering 3 runs as the Toronto Blue Jays fall to the Cleveland Indians 4-2 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. August 31, 2015. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 21: David Price #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays prepares to pitch during the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 21, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Matt Brown/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 22: Game 6 starting pitcher David Price at the end of the press conference in Kansas. Toronto Blue Jays workout at Kaufmann Field on Thursday ahead of Friday night's scheduled Game 6 of the ALCS in Kansas City. Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 23: David Price #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays is pulled in the seventh inning while taking on the Kansas City Royals in game six of the 2015 MLB American League Championship Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 23, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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