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 take care of one of biggest offseason issues with David Price contract

A long-term deal for David Price would be a challenge.

A long-term deal for David Price would be a challenge.

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays executive VP Andrew Friedman said it's always helpful for a team to get as much of its offseason "heavy lifting" done as early as possible.

Tampa Bay did just that Tuesday by reaching an agreement with one of its biggest stars, Cy Young winning left-hander David Price, on a one-year, $10.1125 million contract to avoid arbitration.

The deal, making Price the highest-paid Ray in 2013, was completed more than two weeks before the Jan. 18 deadline to exchange figures.

"It's always good to get this done early," Price said Thursday. "I didn't want to go into spring training and have to leave to go to an arbitration hearing."

Price, 27, more than doubled the $4.35 million he made last year, when he went 20-5 with a league-leading 2.56 ERA to win the American League Cy Young. It's the second largest deal in club history behind the $10.125 million former first baseman Carlos Peña earned in 2010.

"The spirit of this deal is to do something that was fair to both sides," Friedman said. "And both sides genuinely wanted to get a deal done."

But with Price's price rising, it would seem less likely the Rays can sign him to a long-term pact, especially with their payroll limitations. Price, who hits free agency after the 2015 season, has said he wants to stay.

"If it's right, we'll do it," Price said. "If not, I have to understand it's a business first and foremost. (The Rays) want to win this year but also be able to win in the future as well. They have to do what's best for the franchise."

When the Rays signed third baseman Evan Longoria to a six-year, $100 million extension in November, principal owner Stuart Sternberg said it's possible — "in theory" — to also sign Price.

But Sternberg also said that would have to be balanced with how a second big contract would impact their ability to remain competitive. The Rays' opening day payroll in 2012 was around $63 million. Next year, Price and Longoria will make just more than $16 million between them.

"It's a difficult thing to answer without all of the variables, term, money, all of those things, so it's a difficult question to answer on any one specific player," Friedman said. "But we can certainly add another larger contract. But as Stu alluded to, it puts a lot more pressure on our remaining funds, which will be much smaller to fill out 23 guys around Longoria and whoever that contract is (for) to be able to win. Because at the end of the day that's what motivates us, winning and having a competitive team that we can sustain."

The Rays still have several arbitration-eligible players, including outfielders Matt Joyce and Sam Fuld, right-hander Jeff Niemann and infielders Ryan Roberts and Reid Brignac. Friedman said it's their hope and expectation to resolve remaining arbitration cases before the deadline, but it's "hard to handicap" the chances.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

Rays take care of one of biggest offseason issues with David Price contract 01/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Vikings coach feels better about QB Bradford playing vs. Bucs

    Bucs

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford moved with a little more bounce in his step during the 15 opening minutes of Thursday's practice before reporters were booted.

  2. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Friday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: RH Alex Cobb (11-10, 3.63)

    ORIOLES: RH Ubaldo Jimenez (6-10, 6.57)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  3. Bucs journal: Injury news not all bad

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs are dealing with injuries and illness as they prepare for their first road game of the season, at the Vikings on Sunday.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander, left, who had an interception against the Bears before leaving with a hamstring injury, misses his second straight day of practice.
  4. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).
  5. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

    Bucs

    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]