The Tampa Bay Rays again avoided arbitration with left-hander David Price earlier this week, agreeing to a $10.1 million deal with the Cy Young winner -- more than double his 2012 salary. While the ace southpaw and the Rays have yet to formally discuss a long-term extension, Price would be willing to listen if the topic came up, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:
Price, a three-time All-Star who hits free agency after the 2015 season, has said he wants to stay.
"If it’s right, we’ll do it," Price said. "If not, I have to understand it’s a business first and foremost. (The Rays) want to win this year but also be able to win in the future as well. They have to do what’s best for the franchise."
Topkin adds in a separate article that the club may be hesitant to offer Price an extension any time in the near future because of the financial limitations it would put on the team:
But with Price's price going up, it would seem less likely for the Rays can sign him to a long-term deal, especially with their payroll situation.
"It's a difficult thing to answer without all of the variables - term, money, all those things," [GM Andrew] Friedman said. "It's a difficult question to answer on any specific player. We could certainly add another larger contract, but... it puts a lot more pressure on our remaining funds."
Price, 27, suffered some growing pains in his first full season with Tampa Bay, but has been absolutely lights out in the three years since. The left-hander has posted a 2.93 ERA and 8.5 K/9 rate over the past three seasons, averaging 32 starts and 215 innings pitched per year.