- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
The climate has not been good for the Rays to trade David Price this winter because of too much murk in the market. There have been too many alternatives available for teams that might be queasy about giving up a big package of prospects for Price, and for much of the winter, the prospect of Masahiro Tanaka being auctioned off, with all of his promise, has diverted the attention of some clubs.
As written here recently, some rival general managers are now convinced Price will pitch for the Rays in 2014. But at the very least, recent developments have provided more definition to Price's place in the market.
First: Clayton Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215 million extension the other day. A comparison of Price and Kershaw is not apples to apples, because Price is about 2 1/2 years older, at 28, and two years away from free agency, rather than one.
But as a left-handed 2012 Cy Young Award winner who has thrived in the mean streets of the AL East, Price is certainly poised, for the moment, to get something between the $23 million-per-year, record-setting $161 million deal that CC Sabathia got with the Yankees and Kershaw's deal.
At the moment, though, he is a cheaper alternative, having agreed to a $14 million salary for the upcoming season; he’ll get more for 2015 in his final year of arbitration, though Kershaw's deal won't help him because of its structure.