It took long enough, but the Rays finally signed David Price and naturally I took this opportunity to look at his contract as well as some of the inner workings of drafted player contracts, and what they mean.
First with the obvious: six years, 8.25 million on a major league deal, there were some questions about what exactly that means: he's on the 40 man as a result of the type of deal, meaning he's ineligible for the Rule V draft (obviously) through the six years. As far as the actual length and what it means; from my understanding the only impact the length has is the balance of cash and how it's evened out.
Price will get a 5.6 million dollar signing bonus he has at least 2.65 more coming his way, and after receiving 500K this year he'll be down to 2.15 million over five years, with the potential of earning 5.15 over those years, but that's rather unlikely as beginning next year he'll have a split contract which allots the incentives on whether he's in the majors or not. 430K per season assuming he doesn't start each of the slot seasons (2008-2012) in the big leagues, rather unlikely, and when he reaches arbitration eligibility (probably 2011) he has the option of voiding his salary and going to arbitration instead, which, if he's pitching like we hope, he'll get a raise, otherwise the Rays either made a bad selection or he's a very team friendly fellow.
Expanding on the contract, some have asked if Price's deal, which expires after the 2012 season, would also act as the final year the Rays control Price, this is incorrect. We'll use Delmon Young as our example here: in 2003 he signed a five year major league deal for about 6 million, although that included a 3.7 million signing bonus. From there Delmon earned about 420K per season until that deal expires (after next season) and he goes near minimum until he reaches ARB1 status in 2010. The only thing his contract meant was he was guaranteed a 40 man slot and he'd get that money over the longevity of the agreement, otherwise nada.
Bottom line; Price raked in some nice change, and will likely be with the Rays through at least 2014, not too bad of an investment for a player who figures to perform better than his market peers.
Also it looks like David Newmann and D.J. Jones will sign before the midnight deadline. Price will head to Hudson Valley, although not to pitch, at least not right away. Finally it looks like Evan Longoria, Reid Brignac, and John Jaso will represent the Rays in the Arizona Fall League.