Originally written on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 1/13/15
Keeping with the theme, my next 'Sign or Trade' installment centers around Tampa Bays Rays' 28-year-old pitcher David Price. This season will be his seventh in a Rays uniform and while he'll be eligible for arbitration one more time before he potentially hits free agency in 2016, Price has been the subject of several trade rumors. He plays for a contender in Tampa, but in that same breath they are a small-market club who are very particular with how much money they're willing to offer for an extension. As was the case with James Shields, Price may very well find himself traded for a handful of potential value. Would that be the right decision? Let's take a look. David Price by the numbers The 2009 season was the worst of Price's career. It was also his first full season as a starter. In 23 starts spread out over 128 innings, he posted an ERA/ERA-/FIP- line of 4.42/104/109 with a strikeout and walk rate of 18.3% – 9.7%. His career numbers by comparison show a much improved Price from his rookie season, with a line of 3.19/81/86 – not to mention a strikeout and walk rate of 22.1% to 7.2%. From 2010 to the present, Price has not posted an ERA higher than that of 3.49.  He was runner-up for the Cy Young Award in 2010, won the award in 2012, and is a three-time All-Star. Whether it is in Tampa or somewhere else in the next couple of seasons, Price will find a home with a lucrative and deserved offer waiting for him. The 2012 season was clearly Price's best as it not only produced his greatest numbers statistically but also won him the Cy Young award. Over 31 starts and 211 innings of work, he posted a line of 2.56/66/77 with a career-best strikeout rate (24.5%) and a walk rate that almost matched his then-best 6.9% mark from 2011 (7.1%). 2013 saw his numbers dip significantly by comparison, but it was evident that the Rays didn't set Price up with much run support. He started four less games this past season (27) but posted a career-high 4 complete games to go along with a line of 3.33/88/80. His strikeout rate dropped marginally to 20.4% but so did his walk rate: from 7.1% to 3.7%. So while his number of strikeouts from 2012 (205) dropped to 151 in 2013, the number of walks allowed in 2012 (59) also dropped significantly in 2013 to 27. Price is on the books for $14MM entering this season, a deal to avoid arbitration totaling more than he's ever made in one season. If he is able to put up similar numbers to those of his past, there's no reason he would get any less than that per season for the next four or five years. Is it worth it for Tampa to retain him, or will the cost be too steep? Sign him This one could go either way for me. In all honesty Price is unlikely to get any cheaper going forward, but he is the man they need to keep around. He'll still be just 29 years old when the season ends and arguably in his prime. How much he will cost is the question, however. I have no doubt that Price would love to remain in Tampa. Since 2008 the Rays have rarely gotten it wrong, winning 90 games or more five times in six seasons and making the playoffs on four occasions. Unfortunately for them they've only appeared in the World Series once in that time span. They were defeated 4 games to 1 at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. Several people will point to the James Shields – Kansas City Royals trade from the last off-season and say 'Well if they got the eventual AL Rookie of the Year for a 31-year old, they could get more for Price!” Yes, while good, Shields is inferior to Price. And yes, Price is a few years younger. However, most teams neither have the prospects nor the desperation to “win now” like the Royals did last season. They paid a steep price for Shields because they were all-in for the 2013. As it turns out, the Royals are unlikely to keep Shields past the 2014 season. Will it have been worth it? Only if they make a run this year. Regardless of what the Rays decide to do, their moves rarely backfire. I don't expect them to be out of the playoff race by mid-season despite the competitiveness of the AL East, but an extension will ideally need to come sooner than later. He's already been pegged as the Opening Day starter which gives you an indication of how the Rays view Price. He is their ace, plain and simple. One thing to consider: their 2013 payroll was barely north of the $57MM mark, the fifth-lowest in all of baseball last year. If traded, would the Rays fetch a bigger package than the one Kansas City dealt them for Shields? Not a chance. If Price performs this season how he has his entire career, anything but a long-term extension to remain with Tampa Bay would surprise me. Because eventually, a trade like this will backfire. We would love your feedback on The Sports Post so that we can help make your experience better. If you're interested in participating, please click here and fill out our short survey. Note: All data will be confidential.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

Brandon Jennings suffers horrific Achilles injury

Van Gundy rips Bulls management about Thibs

Harbaugh lands first commitment at Michigan

NFL warns Seahawks about 'obscene gestures'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lane Kiffin will remain with Alabama in 2015

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule' prepping footballs

Colts LB Andrew Jackson arrested on DUI charge

Sam Shields: Dez Bryant catch should have counted

Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

WATCH: Urban, OSU students send message to Mark May

The five best Super Bowl matchups ever

WATCH: Mike Riley gets big welcome at Nebraska game

Leonard Fournette's brother commits to LSU

Bledsoe not happy about other QBs trashing Brady

Red Sox P Joe Kelly predicts he will win Cy Young Award

WATCH: Bill Belichick drops 'My Cousin Vinny' reference

USC sends recruit personalized business cards

Coastal Carolina planning to install teal-colored field

The five most significant Super Bowls of all time

WATCH: J.R. Smith, LeBron half-court alley oop

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Harbaugh lands first commitment

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Lane Kiffin staying with Alabama

Belichick goes 'My Cousin Vinny'

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule'

Could Patriots have used a sauna?

Klay Thompson scores 37 pts in a quarter

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks passes away

Sesame Street makes "inflate" the word of the day

Which NBA player should get next on a signature shoe deal?

NFL's Deflategate statement doesn't say much

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.