Price: 'My mindset is that I’m going to be a Ray next year'
With spring training just a month away, ace David Price is still a Ray.
That obviously could change anytime, as Price has been the subject of trade speculation all offseason. But Price, who has been in Nashville this winter, told his hometown paper Saturday night he plans to return to Tampa this week and is preparing as if he's going to remain a Ray.
“There is still a little bit more offseason left,” Price told the Murfreesboro (TN) Daily News Journal. “I’m sure things will pick up more once (Japanese ace Masahiro) Tanaka signs.
“My mindset is that I’m going to be a Ray next year. We’re heading back down to Tampa next week so I can be in that environment again. It’s good to get out of this weather and get into nice weather and be able to throw outside.”
The Rays were expected by many to deal Price this offseason, considering the former AL Cy Young winner is two years away from free agency and they'd likely be able to get the most for him in a deal. Plus, with the arbitration deadline this week, Price is estimated to make $13 million this season, and executive VP Andrew Friedman said their payroll is going to reach franchise-high and "unaffordable" levels.
But Friedman said their payroll is at that level because they feel they've got a chance to be great next year. Hard to imagine the Rays as great without Price.
“It’s out of my control,” Price said. “There is no need for me to put too much thought to it day in and day out. It’s out of my hands. I have no say in it. I’m sitting back and preparing to play baseball. No matter where I am, in Tampa or somewhere else, it’s still the game I’ve always played.”
Price has been working out at his alma mater, Vanderbilt, along with A's pitcher Sonny Gray. Price was at a charity function Saturday with college coach Tim Corbin, who believes he wants to remain a Ray.
“He understands the mechanics of the industry and the money, and understands that Tampa Bay may not be able to keep him, Corbin told the Daily News Journal. “But at the same time, if he had his druthers, he’s stay there the rest of his life because the one thing about him is he’s a loyal soul.”