David Price smashes arbitration record with $19.75 million payday

David Price has set a new salary arbitration record.
David Price has set a new salary arbitration record. (USATSI)

Friday is the deadline for teams and their eligible players to exchange salary figures for arbitration. Most of the time it doesn't get that far and the two sides agree to a contract, which many players have done so far this week.

On Friday, Tigers left-hander David Price agreed to a one-year contract for the 2015 season, a contract that will pay him $19.75 million. That is a new record salary for an arbitration-eligible player, smashing the old record set just last year by Max Scherzer ($15.25 million).

Price was expected to set the record -- MLB Trade Rumors projected an $18.9 million salary -- mostly because he's an excellent pitcher, compiling an 86-51 record with a 3.21 ERA (121 OPS+) and 1,147 strikeouts in 1,221 1/3 career innings. Price also has a Cy Young (2012) as well as a second place finish in the voting (2010) to his credit. He's also been an All-Star four times.

In addition to his gaudy stats, Price was a "Super Two" player, meaning he qualified for arbitration four times instead of the usual three. He had the one extra year of arbitration to increase his salary. Everything was set up for Price to set the new salary record.

It's worth noting Tim Lincecum would have set all sorts of arbitration salary records years ago after winning two Cy Youngs in his first two full MLB seasons, but he signed a multiyear extension and didn't go through the usual process.

The is Price's fourth and final trip through the arbitraton process. He will become a free agent next offseason and figures to command a $200 million contract.

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CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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