The price is too high for Tampa Bay. As a consequence, the Tampa Bay Rays will have to deal their former No. 1 overall pick-turned three-time All-Star and Cy Young-winning pitching ace after the season. David Price has a penchant for causing a stir on Twitter, but he's a beloved figure in the locker room and bullpen. Unfortunately, arbitration this winter will raise his 2014 salary from $10 million to $13 million. The Rays are one of the most frugal in Major League Baseball and the winds of change are blowing in Price's direction.
"If you go with what's been done in the past, I guess you're going to have to think you're going to get traded," Price told Tampa writers during a conference call, one day after the Rays were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night.
The Texas Rangers, Dodgers, Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates are considered leading contenders for Price's services because of their fertile farm systems and young prospects.
This may be a blessing in disguise for Price. The Rays stadium is usually a ghost town and the franchise has no cache outside of Tampa. A trade to a larger market, which would constitute anywhere outside of Tampa would be almost as much of a bonus for his marketability as signing with Jay-Z would be.
"It's never an inviting thought to think David is not going to be with you. But we're faced with a lot of this stuff on an annual basis," manager Joe Maddon told The Tampa Tribune. "It's part of who we are here. We understand that. We're hoping that it will turn out that he'll be able to be here, but I don't know how that is all going to play out. Players like David Price, you always want to have on your side."