Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

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 [email protected]

 
Comments
What does Rays OF Steven Souza Jr. think of Marc Topkinís Hall of Fame ballot?

What does Rays OF Steven Souza Jr. think of Marc Topkinís Hall of Fame ballot?

We've gotten plenty of reaction since posting our Hall of Fame ballots earlier today – some positive, some negative, some vulgar, some passionate, some rather, um, creative.RELATED: Getting into Hall is hard, voting is, tooAnd then there was th...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Getting into baseballís Hall of Fame is hard. Voting isnít easy either.

Getting into baseballís Hall of Fame is hard. Voting isnít easy either.

First, let's make this clear:Voting for the Hall of Fame is truly a cool thing. An honor. A privilege. A labor of love, from putting an X next to names of obvious choices, such as Chipper Jones and Jim Thome, to spending hours of research and interna...
Published: 01/23/18
Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier among Rays slated to sign autographs at Fan Fest

Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier among Rays slated to sign autographs at Fan Fest

Six of the top Rays players will be signing autographs at the Feb. 10 Fan Fest for a $20 fee that goes to charity.Players slated to sign — and subject to change — are Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier, Jake Odorizzi, Wilson Ramos, M...
Published: 01/23/18
ESPNís prospect list has four Rays in top 34, led by Brent Honeywell and Willy Adames

ESPNís prospect list has four Rays in top 34, led by Brent Honeywell and Willy Adames

Four Rays ranked in the top 34 spots in prospect rankings compiled by ESPN's Keith Law.RHP Brent Honeywell, a 2014 draftee, was slated 15th and SS Willy Adames, acquired from Detroit in the 2014 trade of David Price, was 20th.1B/LHP Brendan McKay, th...
Published: 01/23/18
Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames lead Rays prospects in Baseball Americaís top 100

Brent Honeywell, Willy Adames lead Rays prospects in Baseball Americaís top 100

The Rays had two players in the top 20 and six overall in Baseball America's annual ranking of the game's top 100 prospects.RHP Brent Honeywell heads the Rays contingent at No. 14 with shortstop Willy Adames at No. 19.The other ranked Rays are 1B/LHP...
Published: 01/22/18
Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

Why free agency hasnít turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

RHP Alex Cobb never expected to be going into late January without knowing where he was going for spring training.The longtime Ray's first foray into free agency hasn't gone as planned, much like the 150-plus others waiting for something to give in a...
Published: 01/20/18
Updated: 01/21/18
Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson has much to be excited about heading into his second season in the majors.But before packing for spring training, he took some time last weekend to provide help for families needing assistance in dealing with cancer.Hi...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Longtime Rays star Evan Longoria was formally introduced in San Francisco today, adding the visual of him pulling on his new Giants jersey, switching to No. 10 since 3 is retired.Longoria said he welcomed the chance to play on a contending team stock...
Published: 01/19/18
What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

ST. PETERSBURG — Since entering an off-season planning major change and pledging to be open to "anything and everything,'' the Rays have made a few minor moves and one massive one in trading franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria to San Francisco....
Published: 01/19/18
Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale today at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at the...
Published: 01/19/18