Sorry, Tampa Bay Rays. Just because Evan Longoria did it, doesn’t mean David Price will.
No, the reigning AL Cy Young winner feels that he has “helped this organization a great deal”, and “don’t want to be under-appreciated”.
Price wants to get paid like an ace, and told Jon Morosi of FOX Sports that he’s “not taking a discount.”
That will likely mean that his time in a Rays uniform may soon coming to an end, as he will hit free agency after the 2015 season.
The Rays, of course, will trade him before it comes to that, should they decide that they won’t be able to retain his services. The 27-year old understands that “this could be [his] last year [there] — or half-year, whatever it is,” but who could blame him?
After watching his peers like Zack Greinke and Felix Hernandez get paid to all-time contracts, and with at least one more to come in Clayton Kershaw, Price is going to be looking at a a massive pay day if he continues on the path of excellence that he’s been on.
No, the Rays aren’t going to make a habit out of signing nine-figure extensions, and Price will get considerably more money on the free market than the six-year, $100 million discount deal that Longoria signed. That might sound like Price could be looking forward to getting out, but the lefty says “it’s not (a question of) loyalty, because [he has] nothing to do with it for the next three years.”
Price is simply acknowledging the team’s business model, and the fact is that they rely on the ability to continue grooming pitchers like Matt Moore in their system, and trading their established stars for future ones like Wil Myers in order to compete among the best teams in baseball.
If and when the time comes to trade Price, the Rays brass will not hesitate to do it for the future good of the club. It’s a well-meaning parting of ways, rather than a bitter goodbye.
Not that he doesn’t want to be playing for Tampa Bay, though. The lefty “would love to be [in Tampa],” but to do it long term, the team will have to show him “some appreciation” some time over the next three years.
“If not,” Price says “then I’ll do it the other way.”