Price says he’s comfortable with Tigers, open to contract talks
Like a typical Michigan winter, Detroit was chilly to greet David Price back to town Thursday for the Tigers Winter Caravan. David Price, however, was not chilly to Detroit. If he did nothing else in Thursday’s media session, he wanted to clear the air — cold as it is — about that when he talked with reporters for the first time since season’s end.
“This is not somewhere that I disliked,” Price said. “I only said that it was different, and it’s not different anymore. It’s more normal now, knowing all the guys, knowing all the coaches, knowing everybody’s name and stuff like that.”
Going into his contract year, on the heels of Max Scherzer’s free-agent departure for Washington, that was a big point for him to get across. As the industry ponders what Price could get on the open market next winter given Scherzer’s contract, Price indicated he’s at least open to discussions on a long-term contract, though he acknowledges the strong lure of being able to pick his destination and see what his market value is.
Like Scherzer last spring, it’s only a season away for Price — or as he sees it, 30-some starts away.
“I’m open for anything, to be honest,” he said. “But once you have — I’m guess about a week short of six years in the big leagues right now — to get that far along in the process, some of you does kind of want to wait it out, but then some of you feels like, ‘Well, if they’re open to doing something, you can’t close any doors.’ That’s the way I feel. I enjoy it here. I enjoy the staff and the guys and the stadium, everything of that nature. …
“I’ve been doing this for a while. To get to that point where you can have your place to play, have your choice to pick where you want to play, this would definitely be on the list.”
The Tigers will take that. They’re interested in talking with Price and agent Bo McKinnis about an extension this spring, even if the odds seem long.
On Price’s stretch run in Detroit last year, he said, “It was a transition period. I remember feeling the same way when I was in Tampa in 2009. I was up in 2008 for about a month and into the postseason, and then 2009 I was called up. I remember 2009 still felt a little weird. You weren’t comfortable in that setting, and that’s kind of the way I was last year. It just wasn’t comfortable yet. Comfort comes with time and I’ve had time here. I know all the guys. I got to spend time with them last year, at the field and away from field, so it’s a lot more comfortable.”
More from Price …
- On the potential distraction: “I feel like I’ve been through a lot more distracting things than long-term extension talks. I mean, I’m sure it could be distracting at some point if it just lingered on, but if they’re throwing x amount of dollars at you, it’s gotta make you feel good. It’s gotta put a smile on your face. It can’t be a bad thing.”
- On in-season talks: “Honestly, I haven’t put any thought to that. I feel like once the season does get started, that would make it maybe a little weird, because I want to be able to focus on being there for my teammates and making sure I can get my work in every day and not having to worry about any extra stuff that’s going on. But they’re not talking to me anyways. They’re talking to my agent. He’s only going to come to me if there’s something to work with there. I’ll just listen to my agent and take it from there.”
- On Scherzer’s new deal: “Good for him. That’s awesome. It’s crazy. It’s definitely surreal, even though I haven’t been through that process yet. I’m definitely happy for Max. Good for him.”
- On his offseason: “That was definitely the longest year I’ve had in the big leagues, probably the most stressful year I’ve had in the big leagues with the rumors and then being traded and just being in a new environment. So I took some time off. I felt like that was the biggest thing I needed to, just let my body recharge, reset, and then I got back into the weight room, started throwing with all the guys at Vanderbilt. We’re there Monday through Friday. I’ll go up there Saturday or Sunday and play catch as well.”
- On James Shields: “He’s not talking to me right now, and I get that. He doesn’t want to I guess take the chance of something getting leaked or whatever that process is. I’m sure that is a very big deal, and that’s something he’s worked extremely hard for, to get to this point. He doesn’t want anything like me to ruin it for him.”
- On getting out and around town this week: “I didn’t get to do a whole lot in the city of Detroit [last year], other than taking the helicopter tour on my birthday [in August]. But just to get out in the public and meet with people and see what’s going on, I enjoy that stuff. It’s something I did a lot of in Tampa and I like doing that.”