For a guy who’s never tested free agency, David Price has worn a lot of uniforms.

First, of course, the ace left-hander donned the laundry of the Tampa Bay Rays, the club that grabbed him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft.

Then, for parts of two seasons, Price played for the Detroit Tigers after Tampa Bay shipped him out at the 2014 trade deadline.

This year, he moved at the deadline again. Now, he’s north of the border, trying to push the Toronto Blue Jays into the postseason for the first time since 1993. (He got off to an excellent start Monday in his Blue Jays debut, allowing one run in eight frames with 11 strikeouts in a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins.)

We don’t know which uniform Price will wear in 2016, but one thing is certain: He will jump into the free-agency waters, and he will get paid—handsomely.

Oh, sure, the Jays could negotiate a deal with Price before he hits the market. Perhaps the thrill of busting Toronto’s two-decade-plus playoff drought (assuming that happens) and an abiding love of Canadian bacon will persuade the former American League Cy Young Award winner to forgo a bidding war and stick around.


Before the trade to Toronto, Price indicated to’s John Tomase that free agency is a foregone conclusion. Tomase asked about the possibility of Price signing with the Boston Red Sox, but the stud southpaw’s answer tells you all you need to know about his general intentions:

I won’t rule out anybody. If you can prove to me that you want me for the player that I am and the person that I am, I’ve got to respect that. If you have a formula to win and can do it over a sustained period of time, who doesn’t want to win? That’s why you play the game. It’s not about the money. It’s about being able to win now and in the years in the future. That’s what I want to do. I want to be a part of something special. That’s what I’m looking for.

Price turns 30 at the end of August, and he’s never won a ring despite five trips to the postseason and one to the Fall Classic in 2008 with Tampa Bay. So it makes sense that signing with a winner is a high priority.

The money, however, will come.

Yes, this winter’s free-agent class should feature an arsenal of ace-level arms. In addition to Price, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann and Scott Kazmir, among others, could be available.

If you think that’ll measurably diminish Price’s price tag, though, think again. 

Even with the glut of enticing options, deep-pocketed suitors will line up for Price. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for one, “have coveted” the five-time All-Star, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

Remember, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman drafted Price while serving as general manager in Tampa Bay. Now, Friedman has the budget to nab his man again.

The New York Yankees held their chips at the trade deadline and have displayed uncharacteristic financial restraint of late. Don’t be surprised, however, if New York makes a play for Price this winter.

The same goes for the San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and basically every other club with the need and requisite resources.

How much will Price get?

Last winter, Max Scherzeranother former AL Cy Young winner entering his age-31 season—secured seven years and $210 million from the Washington Nationals, so that’s a decent starting point.

Yes, again, the shelves will sag with aces this offseason. As’s Chris Iott noted, “Supply and demand says that having that many starting pitchers on the market should make the price more reasonable for teams.”

Then again, as Iott added, “The market shows premier pitchers will get $200 million or more.” 

David Price is a premier pitcher. In fact, he’s the Platonic ideal of a premier pitcher. And when his much-anticipated, inevitable go at free agency arrives, someone is going to pay him accordingly.


All statistics current as of Aug. 4 and courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

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