Tampa Bay has an uncanny way of evaluating talent and knowing when the perfect time to trade away a star might be. That being said, the club has no plans to trade way David Price. Despite watching B.J. Upton sign with the Atlanta Braves and trading James Shields this offseason, the club feels confident in being able to retain Price.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says the Rays' owner and managing general partner Stuart Sternberg feels it's a distinct possibility that the Rays keep Price long-term. In fact, Sternberg says it is "absolutely possible" that the club finds a way of keeping the Cy Young pitcher. Sternberg said the Rays have no thoughts of trading Price.
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This has to be encouraging news for Rays' fans who, despite all the success this current ownership group has had with making shrewd and difficult trade decisions, worry how the team will perform without stars like Upton and Shields. There had been a cloud of concern hanging over Shields' future, and there still may be, but this news should put to bed some of the rumors involving Price.
Price won the American League Cy Young award last year. He posted a 20-5 record to go along with a 2.56 ERA. He led the American League in ERA and wins. In his career with Tampa, Price has a 61-31 record. He also has an impressive 3.16 ERA.
The Rays have one more year of team control with Price before he can become a free agent. After Price's final year of arbitration-eligibility in 2014, he can test the market. If this happens, it's unlikely that the Rays could bring him back. They will have to work on a long-term extension during this season or the offseason. It sounds like they are prepared to do so.