David Price would not immediately sign a long-term deal with the Seattle Mariners if he were to be traded there, claimed his agent to Ken Rosenthal of of Fox Sports:
Just saw David Price's agent, Bo McKinnis, in lobby. Asked if Price would consider extension with #Mariners. Said no. MORE— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
McKinnis' comments do not rule out a Price trade to #Mariners. Price under club control two more years. M's would have him for that long.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
Asked McKinnis if Price would consider extensions with other teams. Said yes. Asked which clubs. He declined to answer.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
Frankly, Mariners fans should breathe a sigh of relief. The value of trading David Price comes from the next two years of team control, when he will be paid $13 million (with an extra $4 million in deferred salary), and something in the vicinity of $17 million. Because he is an ace, he will likely produce far more value than that over those two years. After that, he will be free to leave, but in doing so he'll decline a qualifying offer and net the team a draft pick.
His value does not come from the ability to extend him beyond those two years. Any team extending David Price will need to pay market rate, or nearly so, either in terms of a ton of money or in terms of risk from a long deal. And paying market price doesn't make you a better team. It, by economic definition, makes you exactly as good a team as you were before.
So, fans from around the country, hope for one of two things:
- Hope that your front office is smart, and knows how to identify value and cleverly allocate resources.
- Hope that David Price thinks your town is small and dreary, that it rains all the time, and that it's unlikely to sustain a winning baseball team.