2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price won’t be a free agent by the end of 2015, and even though it’s three years away, the prospect of being able to add the lefty in his prime should be enough to continue piquing the interest of teams around the league until that day comes.
Price has already ruled out one of his possible destinations, though: the New York Yankees.
That is, if they don’t ease up on their rules about facial hair between now and then, anyway. Speaking to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports about his future status as a free agent, Price pointed out that “there would be teams [he] wouldn’t sign with simply because of the stuff that [he's] heard – every rule they have.”
That would include the Yankees, who have long maintained their rules about the appearance of their players.
There is little doubt that New York would be very interested if Price were on the trade market, but when Morosi brought up the fact that the lefty’s beard would have to go, Price simply said that he “wouldn’t sign a long-term deal there,” as long as those “old-school baseball” rules still exist as a part of the team’s culture.
It’s more than being about a silly beard, of course. For Price, it’s the idea that he wants to be “being treated like a grownup, given that respect and freedom and space” by the team he plays for, whether it’s the Tampa Bay Rays for the rest of his career, or elsewhere.
If the Yankees can’t give him that, then it’s “not something [he] wants to be part of.”
Much can change in three years, though. Price will be an eight-year veteran as opposed to a 27-year old winning his first Cy Young. His perspectives can change, and money has always been a motivational factor for that.
By the end 2015, the Yankees will be looking at just one more year of what will be a 35-year old C.C. Sabathia. If the team wants to look ahead, and don’t want to eliminate Price as an option, some of their rules will have to change, too.