Price avoids arbitration by agreeing to one-year deal with Rays
The Rays and Cy Young winner David Price have reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth just over $10 million to avoid salary arbitration, the Times has confirmed.
Price was projected to potentially double the $4.35 million he made last season, when he went 20-5 with a league-leading 2.56 ERA to beat out Justin Verlander for the American League Cy Young Award.
Price, 27, a three-time All-Star, will be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick was first to report the agreement. There's been no official comment from the Rays.
The deadline for arbitration exchanges isn't until Jan. 18, but it's no surprise the Rays made Price a priority. With righthander James Shields (and Wade Davis) traded to the Royals, Price is expected to be a leader of the pitching staff. Plus, knowing what they had to pay Price could help them sort out what's left for the other arb-eligible players.
The question remains whether Tampa Bay can continue to afford Price in the future, and come to terms on a long-term deal. Price has said many times he'd love to stay, and agent Bo McKinnis told the Times earlier this month that while "it becomes increasingly difficult" at this stage of his career, "it's not too late."
-- JOE SMITH