DETROIT — David Price doesn't know where — if anywhere different — he's going to be at the end of July as Rays officials mull trading their ace starter. But Price now does know that he is going to spend the upcoming All-Star break in Minnesota, named to the American League team for a fourth time Sunday.
Price was chosen for the July 15 game by American League/Boston manager John Farrell as the obligatory and only Rays representative. If no Rays are named as replacements, this would mark the first time since the Devil Rays days of 2007 that Tampa Bay would have only one All-Star.
Price said he had several reasons to be excited.
"The coolest part is that it will be Derek Jeter's last All-Star Game and that it is being played at my favorite field. I love Target Field," he said. "And the third thing is that the Rays open the second half there. I've always been envious of the guys who have been in that position where their teams are playing in the All-Star city. It will be nice just to hang out there for a couple of days."
Rays manager Joe Maddon, who also had been lobbying for reliever Jake McGee to be on the team, said Price is a good choice.
"He definitely deserves it," Maddon said. "It just validates the wonderful year he's having right now. And don't be deceived by a couple bad innings or a couple homers. This guy's been kind of lights out the whole first half. It's well-deserved, earned, and we're really happy for him."
After Sunday night's win over the Tigers, Price is 8-7 with a 3.48 ERA, and he leads the majors with 161 strikeouts and a 8.05 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is first in the AL with 1392/3 innings pitched. But he also leads the league in giving up 19 home runs.
"It hasn't been a typical year," Price said. "I'm leading the league in a couple of categories but one I'm not particularly proud of. I've never been a guy to give up a bunch of home runs. I've got to do a better job of keeping it in the park and stay away from giving up those crooked numbers. If I could take away four or five innings from this season, I feel like I would be close to putting up some pretty special numbers."
The starters elected by the AL players ahead of Price were Oakland's Scott Kazmir (the resurrected ex-Ray), New York's Masahiro Tanaka, Seattle's Felix Hernandez, Toronto's Mark Buehrle and Texas' Yu Darvish.
Price's four All-Star selections — coming in the past five years — match Carl Crawford for the most in Rays history.
Maddon had been pushing for McGee, who leads all AL relievers with a 1.16 ERA. The AL players voted in three relievers — New York's Dellin Betances, Oakland's Sean Doolittle and Kansas City's Greg Holland — and Farrell added Glen Perkins of the hometown Twins.
McGee said he was "a little disappointed." Maddon said he hoped McGee could still be named as an injury replacement.
"Look at what he's done. He's been virtually unhittable this year," Maddon said. "Hopefully if something were to occur over the course of next week … he gets strong consideration because I believe he's definitely an All-Star this year. But having said that, I understand how difficult it is for the manager to do this."