The Rays have reached agreement on a one-year, $14MM deal with ace David Price to avoid arbitration, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports on Twitter. Price, who is represented by Bo McKinnis, will qualify for arbitration one more time before hitting free agency in 2016.
Price's deal represents a nearly $4MM raise over his 2013 salary. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected him to earn $13.1MM, though Swartz explained that Price had a somewhat higher ceiling to aim for. As FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal notes on Twitter, the southpaw stands to constitute about twenty percent of the club's approximately $70MM payroll for the coming year. $14MM also makes for the highest single-season salary in club history, though Tampa has already promised higher paydays over the 2019-22 portion of Evan Longoria's extension.
The agreement should not have a substantial impact on the possibility of Price being dealt. While salary certainty knocks out one minor variable, Price's rights are enormously valuable either way. Of course, the latest chatter has suggested that Price is increasingly likely to pitch for the Rays in 2014 anyway, at least to start the year.