Shortly before ringing in the New Year, David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract for 2013. Last season, the 27-year-old captured the American League Cy Young Award after posting a 20-5 record and league-leading 2.56 ERA, as well as 205/59 K/BB in 211 innings.
The structure of Price’s contract is interesting, as he’ll receive a $5 million signing bonus and approximately $1 million base salary for the upcoming season. The remaining $4 million of the contract will be deferred salary in 2014.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, the left-hander’s new deal makes him a strong candidate to be traded before the end of the 2013 season:
So, what’s the significance of that $4 million deferral? Because the Rays won’t pay that money before next winter, the collective bargaining agreement allows them to negotiate a way for Price’s (theoretical) new team to assume that obligation.
In other words, the Rays could deal Price within the next year and end up paying only $6 million of the roughly $10 million he is owed on his 2013 contract.
As an organization that prides itself on player development and the cultivation of major league talent, the Rays will presumably aim to get younger with the return for Price. More specifically, they’ll likely address the few deficiencies in their system and target at least a high-ceiling pitcher and catcher, as well as a projectable center fielder and middle infielder.
Having said that, there are only a few organizations with the prospect depth to execute such a trade: