The future of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price is uncertain, in the sense that he has been and will continue to be a sought-after trade chip before he hits free agency following the 2015 season. Will he get traded later in 2014? After the season? Who knows.
But Price and the Rays have agreed on a one-year, $14 million deal that brings certainty to his financial situation for the next season. Had they not agreed to a deal, the two sides would have gone to salary arbitration.
It's all coming up 14s for Price, who also wears No. 14. Is that a good sign for the 2014 season? Price tells Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times: "Hopefully it's my year since it's my number.''
Topkin was also first to report the deal. He notes:
The $14-million will be the highest one-year salary the Rays have paid. Carlos Pena made $10.25-million in 2010.
Price had been projected to make $13.1-million by mlbtraderumors.com. He has been the subject of trade speculation throughout the off-season, given that the Rays don't have the financial resources to keep him beyond 2015, when he is eligible for free agency.
The agreement on the $14-million salary doesn't mean Price won't be traded, though that seems increasingly unlikely as the season nears.
Price made $10.25 million a year ago, and posted a 3.33 ERA and a 10-8 record in a season in which he missed because of injury. His most notable outing of the season came when he pitched the Rays into the playoffs in Game 163 against the Texas Rangers. Price pitched a complete game, giving up seven hits and two runs.
For now, Price and his $14 million are only at 45 percent Clayton Kershaw-status, after Kershaw agreed to a $215 million deal Wednesday that will pay him an annual average salary of $30.7 million over seven years. But Price knows his payday is coming. The Rays do too.
Fourteen million is nothing to roll your eyes at — it'll be about 20 percent of Tampa Bay's total payroll for 2014 — but Price will be asking for a whole lot more in the near future. And it will be a huge surprise if the Rays are the team to pay it.
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