Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Price expects to be traded in offseason

ST. PETERSBURG — The symbolism was ominous, even if the timing was innocent. By the time the Rays opened their clubhouse to the media Wednesday, 13 hours after their season ended in a loss to Boston, David Price had already emptied out his locker and left the building.

Among many unknowns for the 2014 season, the biggest question, and the one that will hover over the Rays all winter in terms of conversation and speculation, is whether they will keep their ace left-hander or trade him.

Price said Wednesday night that he expects to be dealt.

"If you go with what's been done in the past, I guess you're going to have to think you're going to get traded," Price, 28, said. "That's kind of the way it's happened with this organization when pitchers kind of get to this period in their career. We've seen it happen a couple of times already. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know what's happened in the past."

In theory, the Rays are positioned to go either way:

• Deal Price now while he's two years from free agency and maximize a return that should exceed what they got when trading pitchers Matt Garza and James Shields at similar junctures.

• Or bring Price back, more likely on another one-year arbitration-framed deal — figuring on a raise from $10.1125 million to $13 million or so — than on any kind of longer-term arrangement. That would preserve the potential, if the Rays are not in contention, to trade him in July, and if they are after next season, albeit for a lesser return.

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman, of course, wasn't sharing strategy, saying "it's not helpful to comment on what-ifs."

But everyone else talking at the Trop on Wednesday made it clear what they wanted to happen with Price.

"I've given it a lot of thought, and so has he, and it's a sad thought, it really is," starter Alex Cobb said. "Because this group has gotten so close, and David has really morphed into our go-to leader, our go-to guy we look to for direction.

"It's not a thing that I want going on all offseason. I really hope they can figure something out and at least squeeze another year out of him, and hopefully even longer. I know it's been a thought in all of our minds this year that it could be our last year together. And it's been tough at times to think about that."

Added second baseman Ben Zobrist: "Obviously nobody in this clubhouse wants to believe that he won't be here next year."

Price admitted thinking that he could be making his last Rays appearance during the Sept. 30 tiebreaker game in Texas, again during Saturday's playoff game in Boston, and as he warmed up Tuesday night for a potential relief appearance in Game 4 of the American League Division Series.

"It's definitely something that weighs heavily on my mind," he said.

But the 2012 Cy Young Award winner maintained Wednesday night, speaking on a conference call with Tampa Bay area writers since he had left the Trop early, that he understands it's how the game works.

"It's not disappointing or anything like that," Price said. "This is definitely a place I love to be. My teammates and everybody in the organization knows that. But it's just part of baseball. It's something I've seen it go on, so it's kind of something I've somewhat prepared myself for."

Price, who as a free agent could command a $200 million contract, said he didn't know if a long-term deal with the Rays was possible, or if he would give them any kind of "hometown" discount. "We'd just have to see what that is," he said.

If the Rays do pursue a trade, the Cubs, Dodgers, Indians, Nationals and Rangers are among those teams expected to be interested.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]mpabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

   
Comments
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:05 Wednesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:05 Wednesday

Wednesday: at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing Shin-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic walkoff homer celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Published: 04/24/18
Updated: 04/25/18
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Published: 04/24/18
Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

UPDATE, 6:06: The Rays will stay in rotation, so Faria will slide back a day and pitch Wednesday, vs. Cobb, and Archer will get an extra day's rest and pitch Thursday, against RHP Dylan Bundy.Also of note, Cash said 3B Matt Duffy (right hamstring str...
Published: 04/24/18
For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing Cobb, weather permitting

For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing Cobb, weather permitting

The Rays are set to get their first look at an old friend tonight, as Alex Cobb will be on the mound for the Orioles, weather permitting.Heavy rain is forecast for the Baltimore area, though Orioles officials seem confident there will be a window for...
Published: 04/24/18
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Tuesday:  at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish) Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing ...
Published: 04/24/18
Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Willy Adames, the Rays top position player prospect, touched all the bases in hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Durham's Monday's win over Buffalo.Adames doubled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, tripled in the sixth and completed the rare f...
Published: 04/24/18
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Published: 04/23/18
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Published: 04/23/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Published: 04/23/18