The Rays and David Price have come to terms on a one year, $10.1125 million contract, avoiding arbitration. The reigning American League Cy Young award winner more than doubles his 2012 salary — his first season of arbitration eligiblity. Last season, Price became the organzation’s first 20-game winner as he posted a career-best strikeout rate along with continued stellar walk and home run rates.
MLBTradeRumors.com projected Price to make $9.5 million through arbitration this season. Last winter, the same projection system pegged him to make nearly $7 million in his first year of eligibility. The Rays and Price avoided a hearing after agreeing to what many felt was a modest $4.35 million salary.
Getting the thrifty Rays to agree to an eight-figure guarantee nearly three weeks before needing to speaks highly of Price’s talent as well his potential earning power should his accolades be displayed in front of a third-party panel. Some may question the team’s rush to an agreement; however, Tampa Bay operates a proprietary valuation system and obviously feels comfortable with the figure. Coming to terms with Price – their most expensive arbitration-eligible player – also allows the team to operate with increased budget certainty as the search for additional bats and arms continue.