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Tigers, David Price open up extension discussions

At the moment, Price is expected to be one of the headliners of next offseason's free agent class.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers and southpaw David Price have opened up communications regarding a possible extension for the impending free agent, Price tells MLB.com's Jason Beck. However, talks are still in a very preliminary stage, with Price himself downplaying the recent discussions, saying "I wouldn't even call it groundwork." The Tigers reached out to Price's agent Bo Mckinnis, and at this point they've discussed "concepts", per Beck.

Detroit acquired the 29-year-old Price at the trade deadline last summer as part of a three-team deal with the Mariners and Rays that also included the likes Austin Jackson, Drew Smyly, and Nick Franklin. Price has been among the best pitchers in baseball since the start of the decade, a true innings-eater and frontline starter who led the AL with 248.1 innings last season. A four-time All-Star and the 2012 AL Cy Young award winner, Price was once again great last season, posting a 117 ERA+, 2.78 FIP, 6.1 WAR, and outstanding 7.13 K/BB.

With Max Scherzer now a member of the Nationals, Rick Porcello in Boston, and Justin Verlander clearly on the decline, the Tigers are likely going to need Price more than ever to anchor their rotation in the seasons to come. Of course, locking him up will be exceedingly difficult, as he is likely in line for a $200+ million contract similar to what Scherzer received. Price has stated a willingness to discuss extension possibilities during the season, unlike Scherzer last year, who spurned pre-season contract offers and wound up departing at season's end.

As it stands, Price is set to headline an impressive group of starting pitchers hitting the market next winter. Along with Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and Zack Greinke should be among the names available in what could be a historic class of free agents.