David Price is back in Tampa this week with his new team, the Tigers, to play his former team, the Rays. Before Tuesday's series opener, he spoke to the local media and said he has not yet had any contract talks with Detroit.
David Price just confirmed that has not had conversations with the #Tigers about a long-term contract as of yet.— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) August 19, 2014
This isn't surprising, really. Price has been a Tiger for less than three weeks and the team has more important things on their plate, like stopping the second half slide that has them falling out of the race for a postseason berth.
Justin Verlander has had a (very) down season and reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer is due to become a free agent this winter, so the Price trade was as much about protecting the 2015 rotation as it was 2014. Scherzer has already rejected a nine-figure extension offer and could wind up elsewhere.
Scherzer's next contract and even moreso Jon Lester's free agent contract will help set the market for the 28-year-old Price. Like Lester, Price is a workhorse ace left-hander who has been through the AL East grinder. He is almost two full years younger and has a Cy Young to his credit while Lester has the postseason dominance, however.
Price, who is due to become a free agent after 2015, is 12-8 with a 3.12 ERA so far this season. He leads all of baseball in innings (193 1/3) and strikeouts (212). Price is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts with Detroit. There is little doubt he will get a $100+ million contract at some point in the next 18 months or so, barring injury.
The Tigers come into Tuesday with a 66-56 record, leaving them two games back of the Royals in the AL Central and tied for the second wild-card spot. They have lost six of their last nine games.