Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays, Price agree to 1-year, $14 million deal; trade still possible

ST. PETERSBURG — The team-record $14 million salary the Rays and David Price agreed to Thursday in avoiding arbitration was obviously a big deal. But it doesn't provide any assurance that Price won't be traded, and staying with the Rays seems to be what the ace left-hander wants most.

Though Rays officials can't provide that answer with any certainty, Price believes the calendar is on his side and — as opposed to the end of last season when he said he expected to be dealt — he is now preparing as though he will get to stay.

"The chances continue to get greater, I guess, as the days go by," Price said. "So I'm just kind of sitting back watching, like I have all offseason."

Price, 28, said he'll feel better about his chances in another few weeks, after the Jan. 24 deadline for free agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to sign (and teams to react), and even more so once he reports to spring training in mid February.

"I think if I'm in camp, I would be on the team," he said, "because that would stink if I would be a part of the team in spring training and everybody thinks I'd be there along with them and then I get traded a couple days into spring or something like that. … Probably Feb. 1 would be a time period that I think would kind of let me know that I would be here."

Price is one of the game's top pitchers, winning the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, and has said repeatedly he hopes to stay. But the Rays have to be open to a trade — now or in the future — because they can't afford to keep him once he hits free agency after the 2015 season.

He said the Rays' chances to win make it even tougher to consider leaving, and a slight slip revealed how conflicted Price has been.

"I want to be part of it," he said. "I think they're going to have, we're going to have, a really good season this year. So I would love to see what would happen, and hopefully I'm there for the duration of it."

The $14 million is the largest single season salary in team history, surpassing the $10.25 million Carlos Pena made in 2010. Price will make nearly 20 percent of the team's projected $73 million to $75 million payroll.

Six other arbitration-eligible Rays face a 1 p.m. deadline today to reach agreement or head to a February hearing, with settlements expected in most, and potentially all, cases: Matt Joyce, Jeremy Hellickson, Sean Rodriguez, Jake McGee, Jose Lobaton (who is likely to be traded) and Cesar Ramos.

Price, who made $10.1 million while going 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA in an injury-shortened 2013 season, was projected to get $13.1 million this season, but agent Bo McKinnis struck the deal at $14 million. Price, who wears No. 14, thought that was a good sign.

"Hopefully," he said, "it's my year since it's my number."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.

Rays, Price agree to 1-year, $14 million deal; trade still possible 01/16/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pro Bowl returning to Orlando in 2018

    Bucs

    ORLANDO — The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando in 2018 for the second straight year.

    Bucs  wide receiver Mike Evans runs a route as Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. defends during the first quarter of the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in January at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Erasmo Ramirez makes his third start of the season.
  3. If Tony Dungy sticks around, he'll broadcast the 2021 Tampa Super Bowl for NBC

    Bucs

    Lost in the Super Tuesday news of the Super Bowl coming back to Tampa was this nugget:

    Pictured, from left, Dan Patrick, co-Host, Tony Dungy, studio analyst, Aaron Rodgers. [Ben Cohen/NBC]
  4. Tragedy, tenacity helped shape Ridgewood valedictorian Johannah Cummines

    Volleyball Preps

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Even if her daily routine didn't permit calories to melt off, Johannah Cummines would deserve to pick anything on the menu.

    Ridgewood High senior Johannah Cummines and mom Chenell. Cummines is headed to Florida Atlantic, where she will play beach volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Johannah Cummines)
  5. Bucs Roberto Aguayo kicks off 2017 on the wrong foot

    Blogs

    The goal posts still seem to be moving for Roberto Aguayo.

    The Bucs woebegone place-kicker, who is in a battle with veteran Nick Folk, went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights, the first day of full squad Organized Team Activities.

    If that weren’t …

    Roberto Aguayo went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights.