Living in Chicago, I hear sports news from a different viewpoint. Depending on the radio station that I am listening to, I will hear either Cubs news or White Sox news. Never really both, unless major news has been made or the station is talking about baseball in general. As a Rays fan, the only time I hear the words “Tampa Bay Rays” uttered is when a major transaction occurs or when the beat guys for the Cubs/White Sox is brainstorming how each organization could seemingly easily acquire a certain Rays player due to the team being a winning team but unable to afford a players’ escalating salary. It becomes laughable, to me at least, on how much they would low-ball the Rays in a trade. I am not sure if its due to unfamiliarity towards the Rays or complete naivity towards how a trade works, but I have heard and texted into shows on how unrealistic their trade proposals are.
One night this offseason, I was listening to a Cubs-themed show and became frustrated towards the radio host. He chimed into that the Cubs new revitalization of Wrigley Field and surrounding areas enabled the Cubs the possibility of signing David Price when he hits Free Agency. He went onto say that the Rays are more worried about stadium issues and Price is likely frustrated because of that and the fact that Longoria got a lifetime deal with Rays and he didn’t. Totally untrue and baseless ramblings, but this was being told to Cubs fans everywhere as fact. I went onto tweeting the radio host, to no reply, that his rumormongering is hilarious and the Cubs should only pray Price becomes a FA.
Price, in my honest opinion, will not become a free agent until he’s a few years into his 30′s. While national media doesn’t believe the Rays could afford another huge longterm deal, Friedman and ownership have stated that the organization has the means to do another but are unsure of the rammifications to future roster-building due to massive contracts. Also, with questions surrounding TV deal payouts and stadium issues, Rays will hold off in signing a Price deal unless they get one that is quite team-friendly.
Barring an extension, I believe Friedman would attempt to trade Price for a “kings ransom” in the next 15 to 18 months. I also believe that any team willing to be open to trade the players needed to acquire Price will be like any other team acquiring a big-name pitcher and negotiate a signing window. In my estimation, it will likely take one of the biggest trade packages in MLB history to acquire Price.