Rays, Price agree to one-year deal, avoid arbitration

1/16/14 in MLB   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price has generated quite a bit of buzz this offseason due to the possibility of the the team dealing the 2012 Cy Young winner. A new development in the Price saga occurred on Thursday, though it was not quite as big of news as some had hoped for (though for Rays fans, it is welcoming news). The Rays and Price have agreed to a one-year, $14 million deal which will allow them to avoid arbitration.

Oct 5, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price (14) delivers a pitch during the first inning in game two of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY SportsThough there was a lot of talk about the Rays trading Price this offseason to get the maximum return on a trade (Price has two years left before he can hit free agency), but with each day it seems like the Rays are leaning a bit more towards keeping him. General manager Andrew Friedman has expressed a desire to "keep the band together" in 2014, which suggests that he wants to field another contender before dumping his stars for promising prospects. Price is the ace of the pitching staff, so if Friedman wants a contender, it would not be wise for him to get rid of his best pitcher.

If the Rays decide to keep Price for 2014, they could still trade him next offseason and get a nice return, as whoever acquires him would have a full season with him on the team before having to re-sign him. Another option for the Rays would be to see how the first half of the 2014 season plays out, then decide whether or not to deal Price at the trade deadline based on their World Series chances.

It still seems like Price will be traded eventually, but his chances of being on the Rays' Opening Day roster in 2014 are looking pretty good.
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