Rays Yankees BaseballWith all the buzz over the recent trade of James Shields and Wade Davis, this small item got pushed to the back burner. Marc Topkin of TampaBay.com spoke with David Price’s agent about the possibility of Price signing a long-term contract to remain with the Rays beyond the 2015 season when he would first be eligible for free agency. And while Price’s agent tried to sound optimistic, his comments are just more evidence that Price’s days with the Rays are numbered (emphasis ours)…

Price, McKinnis noted, is driven to be the best in everything from pitching to golf to video games to Twitter…”So in a similar sense…he wants to have the best contract in baseball, however that may be defined. He expects to be the best in everything that he does. So hopefully we’re able to make that marriage between the Rays and that best contract. But we also recognize the economics of the game may not allow that.”

It is interesting to note that he did not say “the biggest contract in baseball.” However, “best contract” would be a far cry from any of the long-term deals the Rays have already handed out.

Earlier this off-season, one anonymous executive said Price would be worth “a lot more” than $20 million per year on the free agent market, and we speculated that he was worth $25 million per year. Another report stated that the Rays had already given up hope of ever signing Price long-term.

More likely, the Rays will attempt to sign Price to a three-year deal to cover his arbitration years now that Shields has been moved. This would give the Rays more cost-certainty with the upper-end of their roster and would also make it more likely that Price is here beyond the 2013 season.

 
 

11 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    DP has all the leverage now. He is one arm injury from losing it, so just let it play out from here. His arb years are going to get very expensive if Grienke is walking around with a $24M a year contract and he isn’t close to DP.

    He wants to win. He wants to get paid. Those two interests may coincide; they may not.

  2. Beazy says:

    The Rays will save up the money to make a deal, OR get another #1 prospect, either or it’ll work it self out for the best our teams future…

  3. J 2.0 says:

    MLBTR reporting the Rays are nearing a deal with the pitcher formally known as Fausto Carmona.

  4. Beth says:

    But why would Price agree to a three year deal that pays him less than he’s likely to get in arbitration?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      1) we don’t know what he will get in arbitration; 2) security

      We can always speculate on a what a player will get in arbitration, but ultimately it is up to the arbitrator. And the higher the target, the bigger the difference between player and team. for example, last year Tim Lincecum asked for $21.5 million and was offered $17 million. That’s a pretty big difference. And he ultimately signed a 2-year deal making $18M this year and $23M next year, with the 2012 salary somewhere in the middle of the arb figures. Maybe the deal cost him $3.5M or maybe the deal made him an extra $1M this past season. We dont know. In addition, the deal also gave Lincecum security. No way he is making $23m in 2013 based on this past season. There are some legitimate concerns his arm will never be back to where it was a couple of years ago.

      So if Price does sign a 3-year extension at say, $9M/$12M/$15M and then he goes out at wins another Cy Young and stays healthy, it’s a bad deal for him, because he could be looking at $18-20M in arb figures the last two years. But if he gets hurt. Or if he just loses some velocity it’s a good deal. But the most likely scenario is that he will go out and continue to be a very good pitcher, unlikely to win another Cy* and the arb figures are about right and everybody just sleeps better at night.

      *Not that Price cant be this good again. But there are a number of great pitchers in the AL (Verlander/Sabathia/etc.) and the odds of him outpitching all those guys again in either 2013 or 2014 are not that good.

      • Gus says:

        Just like I’d never want to belong to a country club that would have me as a member, I’d never want to buy out late arb years from a workhorse pitcher. That tells me he knows he has arm issues, ala Lincecum. Giants would have been far better off paying the freight in the years he is good and then benefiting when he is bad. Rays may not have as much flexibility, but unless Price had a real good reason so sign, I’d be wary.

        I actually think his apporach this off-season has been fine. Enjoy being at the top. It (usually) doesn’t last long.

        (Why do you have him at $9M arb in the salary forecast? Is that scale still good?)

  5. Alex says:

    What makes you think Price will have an injury? He’s never had any arm issues what so ever. Lincecum on the other hand was always questionable because of the number of injuries, his size and his pitching motion. There are no such questions with David.

    I think with Price the Rays will have to go big or trade him. CC Sabathia got 7 years 161 million from the Yankees plus the contract extension/opt out. That’s around $23 million a year. For a team like the Rays that’s tough to swallow. I think for the Rays to make a deal with David two or three things will have to happen: A championship, increased attendance, and a new stadium. If they get 2 out of those three I think we have a chance, but I’d still put it at 60/40 for trade/signing him long term.

    I believe David loves it here even after losing his buddies Jamie and Davis, and I understand what his agent is saying, but I think some of that is just being overblown. His agent is just saying David likes to be the best, but he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that’s going to squabble with the Rays over a few million. If he truly enjoys it here I could see him staying on a 5-7 yr deal worth 140-160 million contract.

    • Alex says:

      That’s not to say he won’t have an injury, but of any team to trust when it comes to long term deals and pitchers, it would be the Rays.

  6. Jeffrey says:

    I do not know what the Rays will do. They extended Longoria’s contract. They can do this to Price. If not, just another 1st round pick.

    • ChrisFromNaples says:

      Longo took less money. Is Price takes less money to stay it’s possible. If he doesn’t take less money, it’s not possible. Pretty simple. I think it’d be better for the team long term to trade him next winter.. imagine the talent you could get.

  7. Steve says:

    Price very well may be traded next winter. If so,we will be able to play many other teams against one another for a monster package.One example would be St.Louis for OF-Oscar Taveras, RHP-Carlos Martinez,and another prospect.

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