ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Now that Tampa Bay's David Price is slated to earn the biggest single-season salary in Rays history, the three-time All-Star hopes he remains part of the budget-minded franchise's plans for 2014.
The team announced Thursday that the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $14 million, one-year deal. However, the agreement doesn't eliminate the possibility of a trade.
"I still have the mindset moving forward that I want to be with the Rays," said Price, who at the end of last season seemed resigned to the fact that he'd probably be dealt during the offseason.
The 28-year-old has been the subject of trade speculation after going 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA last year while earning $10,112,500. He is eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, and the Rays likely won't be in a position to pay the type of money Price could earn on the open market.
If he's traded, Price believes it wouldn't be before Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka decides where to sign. Teams have until Jan. 24 to reach an agreement with Tanaka, a 25-year-old right-hander who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year for the Japan Series champion Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Price believes the Rays, who've made the playoffs four of the past six seasons, could have one of the best teams again in 2014.
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