Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Silverman: Rays Optimistic On Price
Posted Aug 12, 2007 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Aug 12, 2007 at 07:42 PM
ARLINGTON, Texas—Rays president Matt Silverman has been with the team this weekend (he’s a Dallas native) and we caught up with him a while ago to get the latest on the David Price talks. Silverman has been in regular contact with Andrew Friedman, and he said the Rays remain optimistic that a deal will get done before the Wednesday deadline.
“They’re engaged in conversations and the tone is productive,” said Silverman. “Both sides are working towards finding a middle ground that works and both sides are committed to trying to find a solution here.”
I believe eight of the top 12 picks remain unsigned, which most around the game view as a function of MLB’s hard-line stance on the slotting system it’s trying to implement. MLB has been putting a lot of pressure on teams to sign players for a value equivalent to the slot in which they were selected—an attempt to take leverage away from Scott Boras (and others, I suppose), who has been able to get high-level contracts done for players who slipped in the draft because of concerns about signability.
The slotting pressure doesn’t figure to affect the Rays like it will a team like the Tigers, who got Rick Porcello—tabbed by Baseball America as the top high school pitcher in the draft—all the way down at No. 27 overall in large part because of worries about what it might take to sign him.
Silverman acknowledged MLB’s influence hovering over the negotiation process, but said the final outcome won’t be affected by it.
“You work within industry parameters,” he said, “but in the end it’s a conversation between the Prices and the Rays.”
It might happen with other teams, but don’t expect the Rays to let Price to go back into the draft because of slotting concerns.
“If he ends up not getting signed, it’s because we couldn’t reach an agreement with him,” said Silverman.