David Price has been the topic of much speculation throughout this season. Seemingly every month, rumors had swirled around Price about a possible trade in the offseason or, when the Rays were struggling at the start of the year, by the trade deadline. Yet, despite everything that happened this season, Price remained with the Rays, and played a big part in their push towards the chase for the Wild Card.
Now, with their season potentially winding to a close, those rumors have started once again. Danny Knobler of CBSSports recently wrote an article indicating that the Rays are likely to trade Price based on their likely inability to re-sign him and the weak free agent market for starting pitching.
Yet, the basis of the article may be flawed. While the Rays do look to maximize their return on players, a trade for Price may not be a given. Despite Price having two years under team control which would make him more valuable to a trade partner, it may be possible for the Rays to retain his services. Each team is expected to receive approximately $25million next season due to an increase in MLB’s broadcasting revenue, which may allow the Rays to keep players such as Price.
Another factor may be Price himself. He has repetitively stated that he would like to sign an extension with the Rays, and they may be able to get a bit of a discount should they offer one. Even if he is unwilling to give the Rays a major discount, any money they would be able to save, along with the revenue increase, may be enough to entice Price to sign that long desired extension.
“I love it here,” Price said Thursday. “Everybody in our organization knows that. The fan base knows it.”
Price may prove to be expensive to sign to an extension. However, the Rays have traditionally done well to sign players that they feel would be an asset to the club long term to extensions, as they have done with Evan Longoria (twice) and Ben Zobrist. Price, who has been one of the best starters in the game over the past few years, would certainly be someone that could be expected to be an asset going forward.
It may not be easy for the Rays to resign David Price. However, it is still premature to say that he is on the way out.