ST. PETERSBURG — David Price was having a hard enough time sorting out how he felt Thursday about being traded.
There was surprise over going to the Tigers, who hadn't been among the rumored candidates. Gratitude to the fans in Tampa Bay for all their support. Excitement over joining what will be one of the game's most dynamic rotations in Detroit, teaming with Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in a Cy Young trio.
And "absolute sadness" over leaving the Rays, the only team he has ever played for.
"It's what I know," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "It's what I love."
As he was scrambling with the logistics of packing and heading to Detroit this afternoon, now-former teammate Evan Longoria gave him something else to think about:
That his turn in the Detroit rotation is likely to come up when the Tigers come to the Trop on Aug. 19-21, meaning he could be pitching against the Rays.
"That'd be crazy," Price said. "That'd be cool."
Price was playing golf Thursday morning in St. Petersburg when he heard from some Brewers players, who stayed over on their off day, that Boston had dealt Jon Lester to Oakland. So he knew the trade market was in motion.
Price, 28, then went as planned to the Trop, and he was actually working out on the field while Rays officials were in a conference room overlooking the field working out the final details of the trade. He was home when he got word of the deal from agent Bo McKinnis at 3:47, then a call from Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman.
Rays players were open about how they were going to miss their ace left-hander personally as much as professionally. Longoria tweeted a thanks to Price, noting his "character is unmatched," and later said he would "need time to digest to give you an accurate sense of my feelings."
Pitcher Chris Archer, who looks up to Price in every way, said, in part: "There's no replacing the person David Price. The stadium crew around the ballpark will miss his personality. That tells you enough about who he is."