The Tampa Bay Rays have David Price under team control for a few more seasons, but history would tell you they are not opposed to trading him before their time with him is up. Price is 27 years old and one of the best left-handed starters in the game. If he continues to pitch the way he has over the past few seasons, he could be destined to become the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history.
If the Rays are unable to afford signing Price to a long-term extension, they could look to trade him while he still holds a ton of value. As John Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reminded us, they traded James Shields to the Kansas City Royals when he was still two years from free agency.
Price understands that his time in Tampa may be limited, but he doesn’t sound like a guy who is simply going to sign with the highest bidder in three years. For example, he has a very specific reason why he doesn’t envision himself pitching for the New York Yankees.
“If I ever did hit that free-agent market, there would be teams I wouldn’t sign with simply because of the stuff that I’ve heard – every rule they have,” Price told FOX Sports. “Being here since 2007, being treated like a grownup, given that respect and freedom and space – it grows on you.”
Morosi then informed Price that he would have to shave his beard if he were traded to the Yankees.
“I wouldn’t stay there very long then,” he said. “I wouldn’t sign a long-term deal there. Those rules, that’s old-school baseball. I was born in ’85. That’s not for me. That’s not something I want to be a part of.
“It’s a joke to me, that I had less rules in college than I would on some major league teams. That’s not my style, man. I couldn’t do it on some of these teams I hear about. I couldn’t do it. I’m a grown man.”
Of course, Price could very well change his mind in three years if the Yankees offer him close to $30 million a season. That being said, the Yankees clean-cut policy has been something they have always stuck to without exception. Assuming their approach doesn’t change, they may decide Price doesn’t fit their mold anyway. New York would have to give up a boatload of top prospects to acquire Price. If he doesn’t want to be there long-term, it wouldn’t be worth it.
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