Coming off his first AL Cy Young Award, David Price will likely ask the Tampa Bay Rays for a hefty raise following this season. They would be wise to accept in light of the mega-deal 2010 Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez just received from the Seattle Mariners.
We all know the Rays can’t afford tons of big contracts, and Price will be looking for no less than $180 million or so, which means the team should not sign others before him. Obviously, the team inked third baseman Evan Longoria long-term this off-season, which wasn’t totally smart in my opinion given his injury history. Plus, with the money Hernandez now makes, Price knows what he can reasonably ask for and probably receive.
Though this type of money seems unfathomable he certainly deserves it, especially given his career numbers. Price currently has 61 wins and a 3.16 ERA all-time, while holding opponents to an .227 batting average. During his first big league season in 2010 he shined, finishing with a 19-6 record and 2.72 ERA, enough to get recognized as one of three finalists for the AL Cy Young. Not shabby for a debut, which made his 2011 sophomore slump kind of understandable. 2012 saw him return to form though, with a 20-5 record and 2.56 ERA. This performance earned the young phenom his first ever Cy Young award.
Either way, the Rays must find a way to keep Price no matter the cost, if they plan on staying competitive in the American League East. If they don’t, things could spiral downward, and the team could end up reliving their Devil Ray days.