MLB rumors: Cubs are front-runners for David Price

David Price 1-on-1 with Ken Rosenthal
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.

See photos of David Price over the years: