The Rays Tank: DP to stay, Josh Sale cleaned up his act

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

27 days until pitchers and catchers report. Only 27.

Rays news and notes:

- After some speculation and rumors early in the offseason, trade talks concerning David Price have slowed down, and according to Buster Olney:

Increasingly, rival executives are convinced that David Price will remain with the Rays for the 2014 season. "Ninety percent chance he stays," said one rival official. "The [trade] market hasn't materialized."

Much can be attributed to the waiting game with Masahiro Tanaka, as potential trades may again appear once the Japanese pitcher has finally signed somewhere. DP doesn't seem to think that he'll be anywhere but in Port Charlotte next month, telling Joe Smith,

"My mindset is that I'm going to be a Ray next year. We're heading back down to Tampa next week so I can be in that environment again. It's good to get out of this weather and get into nice weather and be able to throw outside."

Fangraphs took a look at what Price remaining with the team means for the Rays roster wise and financially, and how it affects his trade value going forward.

- Josh Sale has apparently turned over a new leaf. The continually troubled prospect spoke to the media while in attendance at the Rays 5th annual Winter Development workouts this week, commenting on his forced sabbatical via his 50-game suspension:

"I was able to grow up," Sale said. "That's what really needed to be worked on, just me as a person, doing what I can to better myself, because nobody's bigger than the game."

"I knew I had to go home, grow up, take care of a lot of things," Sale said, speaking publicly for the first time since. "It was demoralizing, but something that my actions induced."

Per Rays Farm director Mitch Luekvics, the organization is pleased with Sale's progress, and if it continues Sale can be expected to be reinstated from the restricted list at the end of Spring Training.

Rays Prospect Josh Sale, Open And Honest With The Media (via Sports Talk Florida)

- Sports Talk Florida provided video from some of the attendees of this week's workouts talking about their experiences:

Rays Winter Development Workout (via Sports Talk Florida)

Mitch Lukevis, Director of Minor League Operations, spoke about the program:

Tampa Bay Rays Mitch Lukevics Explains The Winter Development Program (via Sports Talk Florida)

- C.J. Riefenhauser also chatted with Sports Talk Florida, discussing his plan to work on his secondary pitches, particulary the development of his changeup, and his transition to the bullpen:

Tampa Bay Rays CJ Rienfenhauser On Making The 40-Man Roster (via Sports Talk Florida)

Tweet of the Day:

RE: What team is least likely to sign Tanaka.

Links:

- Clayton Kershaw became the first $200 million dollar pitcher ever on Wednesday, agreeing to a deal with the Dodgers for seven years and $215 million. He's kinda good, so it seems reasonable.

- With the Kershaw deal, does that indicate the Dodgers are out on Tanaka? Not necessarily...

- ESPN announced their Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first half of the season yesterday, and the Rays were...nowhere to be seen!

- Interesting article from Deadspin about how MLB's war on drugs is an "immoral shitshow."

- Our favorite new young bear cub, Clark, inspired The Sweet Spot to compile the 10 worst mascots ever. Look at the joy he's already bringing to the world!

- For all you Tampa Bay residents, the Tampa Theater is hosting a Spring Training Classic Movie Series, unfortunately sponsored by the Yankees, but pretty cool: every Sunday at 3PM leading up to Spring Training (beginning last weekend) they'll show a different classic baseball movie. Tickets are $10 for the public, $8 for Tampa Theater Members, and the list of films is provided on their website.

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