In my mind the Tampa Bay Rays are the most talented team in the American League East. With the Toronto Blue Jays making a splash this offseason and the usual suspects in the same division, I understand I am in the minority on this one. Naysayers and New York Yankee fans are the first to point out David Price‘s contract year could affect him. While it may seem like a hindrance, I can guarantee it won’t be.
It’s rare that a reigning Cy Young heads into the next season without a lengthy contract, however Price will be a free agent once the 2013 season comes to a close.
Price has been nothing but excellent for the team since being drafted with the first overall pick in the 2007 MLB draft. In fact, he has been in the top two vote getters in the Cy Young race two of the last three seasons and has won over 50 games in that time frame.
The sad reality of Price hitting the open market this offseason is getting more and more real to Rays faithful, but that doesn’t mean it will hinder the organization in 2012. If any team knows how to deal with adversity and newness it’s the Rays as they have let countless players walk to free agency simply because they lack the finances.
While the hype of Price becoming a free agent continues to grow, coach Joe Maddon will not let it get to his team as I have the Rays winning the AL East in 2013. Price has been a savior to this team, however the pieces around him will also rally to make sure his last season in Tampa Bay ends with a postseason run.