Price's deferred money could figure in deal by Rays

Price's deferred money could figure in deal by Rays
November 24, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Fascinating bit of a twist to any potential David Price trade the Rays might make, as reported by ESPN’s Jayson Stark. The possible move of 2012’s American League Cy Young winner is perhaps the most intriguing dangling deal in the AL East.

Price is arbitration-eligible for 2014 — an issue for budget-conscious Tampa Bay — but it turns out that the Rays actually still owe him money from the one-year, $10.1 million contract he signed for 2013. From that total, $4.1 million is in the form of a deferred signing bonus due to Price in 2014.

Stark writes: “At the time, we were told the contract was structured that way for tax reasons and had no connection to the possibility of Price getting traded. But that hasn't stopped some teams from wondering.”

Why? The $4.1 million could become part of haggling over a trade. Stark says the Rays could tell a potential trading partner: "We'll take a slightly lesser prospect if you pay him that money we owe him."

Were the Rays just thinking ahead and being shrewd? Sounds like something they might do.