David Price is two years away from free agency, meaning that the trade rumors this off-season have more to do with the Tampa Bay Rays and their philosophy to be proactive than they do any sort of actual urgency.
They still have time to decide what to do to avoid losing him as a free agent. Perhaps more importantly, the Rays still have a chance to make a World Series run with Price as their ace. In a sense, they actually can have it both ways.
“I wouldn’t drop over dead if he ended up traded, but I’d be surprised. We’re going to have a damn good team, and he’s a leader of the pitching staff. Even if you can cash that in for a couple of prospects, I would be a little bit surprised. “
Hickey went on to express his confidence in the Rays’ ability to adapt if Price is dealt, but he obviously envisions a 2014 season with their staff ace in the fold.
Between now and the time that Price negotiates for a long-term deal (presumably with a different team), it is likely that Clayton Kershaw will have inked a huge deal with the Dodgers to go along with the Justin Verlander‘s 10 year, $219 million deal.
Big money is coming Price’s way, but the Rays have already made a decision not to worry about that. And so it appears that they will place their focus squarely on this season with their ace.