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Rays Pick Price; How Much Will He Cost?

Posted Jun 7, 2007 by Aaron Knox

Updated Jun 7, 2007 at 02:12 PM

Now that the Devil Rays have eliminated the suspense and chosen Vanderbilt LHP David Price with the first overall pick in the draft, two questions loom: How quickly can Price be signed? And, how soon will be be in the majors?

Evan Longoria, last year’s first-round pick, signed right away and went on to help Montgomery win the Double-A Southern League title. The 2005 pick, Wade Townsend, also signed soon after he was drafted. The Rays also have carried negotiations deep into the winter (Jeff Niemann) and rarely have gotten it done before the new Aug. 15 deadline. Delmon Young, Dewon Brazelton and B.J. Upton went well into the summer.

Price is represented by Nashville-based agent Bo McKinnis, who also represents Brazelton and current Rays reliever Casey Fossum. Chances are, Price will want a major-league contract (it’s rare for the No. 1 overall pick not to sign one). It will be interesting to see how Price’s contract demands compare to the anticipated $3-3.5-million bonus the Rays are believed to be willing to pay.

The difference this year for the Rays in the negotiation is that if they don’t sign Price by Aug. 15 (Price is a junior and can always return to Vandy), MLB will reward the Rays with a compensatory pick in next year’s draft. In this case, essentially the Rays would get the No. 2 overall pick next year for not giving in on negotiations.

Price, who watched the draft on ESPN2 in Nashville with his family, will hold a conference call today at 3:30 p.m.

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