Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rays Have Til Midnight to Sign Price

Tonight is the deadline for major league teams to sign their draft picks and many first rounders remain unsigned, including the number one overall pick by the Rays, David Price. Price was the consensus number one overall pick and the Rays took him with that pick. The Rays have been talking to him since they drafted him on June 7th, but he had not signed as of yet. With the midnight deadline looming the Rays don't have much time left to get him signed.

Price, the consensus number one pick, was not only dominant at Vanderbilt, but was also great for the US National Team. He is a very polished pitcher who could be in the big leagues soon after he signs his contract much like Andrew Miller was last year for the Tigers. Price has told the media that he is not demanding to be in the majors immediately and is willing to pay his dues in the minors, but it looks like he wants to be paid well for that time. The reported numbers he is asking for is in between 7 and 10 million dollars, but the MLB has slotted 4 million for the number one pick. It looks like if the Rays want to get Price signed they will need to go over the slot number to get it done.

The deadline to get these guys signed is new this year to try and prevent agents like Scott Boras from trying to stretch it out until next year and have them go back to school. Price does have the option to go back to school, and in fact has enrolled in Vanderbilt for the Fall just in case. While he has enrolled in school his coach seems to think he will sign with the Rays. When asked by the media if he thinks Price will be back next season he told them that there was a better chance of the Beatles reuniting than Price returning to Vanderbilt. Does he know something that others around the media and baseball do not? I have heard rumors that Price has been signed, but due to the fact that it is so much over the slot contract they have waited to announce it. I hope this is true, but I remain skeptical as I have not heard that from anyone around the organization.

If the Rays are unable to sign Price by midnight they will be awarded the 2nd pick in next years draft as compensation. If the Rays continue on the pace they have been they will get have the number 1 overall again next year and would also get the number 2 as compensation. Now some may say that the Rays could just redraft Price if they wanted, but Price has to agree to allow the Rays to draft him again next year. Also, if the Rays aren't willing to spend the money on him now, what makes anyone think they will spend the money on the number 1 and number 2 picks next year to get them signed. The Rays have always got there first round pick signed so I have faith in them that they will get it done today. With fans already complaining about the lack of money being spent the worst thing the Rays could do is not sign Price and have it come out it was due to money. Price has the goods to be a great MLB pitcher and will be a great addition to the staff. The Rays need to get Price signed and show the fans that they are willing to spend the money necessary to make the team better.

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