[UPDATE] We should note that even though “Mike Silva” is part of the name of the website, in fact Jay Sorgen wrote this piece, not Silva. So our apologies to Silva, our brushback pitch was meant for Sorgen.

The Rays are leaning towards keeping David Price in the minors to start the 2009 season. While many think he is the best option for the fifth spot in the rotation, most agree that Price could benefit from a few more months in the minors. What hasn’t been mentioned is the possibility that the Rays will keep Price in the minors because they are cheap…Until now.

Unbelievable……………. The Tampa Bay Rays are thinking of keeping David Price in the minors at the beginning of the season in order to push his free agent eligibility back a year.  This is why Tampa will always be Tampa, and the Red Sox and Yankees will always compete for the top prize consistently from year to year.

Our first reaction was anger because this was obviously written by somebody who knows little about baseball outside of New York and stereotypes that are several years old. Our second reaction was laughter because this proved how little this person knows about baseball outside of New York and stereotypes that are several years old.

But for the sake of pointing out just how idiotic Mike Silva is, let’s break this down…

The Rays are cheap: The Rays have increased their payroll more than 200% in the last two years and will enter the 2009 season with a payroll north of $60 million. They also have many of their young players signed to long-term deals showing that they are willing to open the checkbook for the right players. Not over-the-hill over-priced over-hyped 9-to-5ers. Meanwhile, the Yankees have spent $646 kazillion trillion since they last won a World Series.

The Rays would only send Price to the minors to delay his free agency clock: We are one of the bigger cynics when it comes to the Rays and yet several months ago we argued for keeping Price in the minors for a few months. Why? Not for the free agency clock. Rather, it was because Price only threw 120 innings last year. Because Price only has one year of professional experience. Because Price only has 5 starts above double-A. Because Price is only a two-pitch pitcher right now. And because the Rays have several other options to keep the seat warm and who can do the job very well.

Oh yeah, and apparently Mike Silva is unaware that Price already started his free agency clock when he was called up last season. If the Rays were really concerned about his free agency clock, they wouldn’t have called him up for a handful of meaningless relief appearances in September.

But yeah, if you mean “Tampa will always be Tampa” as in the Rays will be the smartest franchise in baseball and will win more games than the Yankees and Red Sox at a quarter of the payroll…Then yeah, the Rays will take that as a compliment.

Random Thoughts……………… [NY Baseball Digest]

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