Price’s agent: “Hard to say I’m optimistic” about him staying
David Price’s agent, Bo McKinnis, has kept a very low profile all year about his client’s contract status and extension talks, preferring to keep any negotiations private. With Price’s name back in the rumor mill leading up Friday’s trade deadline, McKinnis appeared on MLB Network Radio Sunday morning with former MLB general managers Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette, and sounded less than optimistic about Price staying a Tiger — long term, or maybe even into August.
“When we got eight days from the deadline [that would be last Thursday], I had some folks that asked me my thoughts,” McKinnis said. “Then, I said I feel like if they were to go 5-3 in those eight, that Dombrowski would hang onto him. This team, he’s got a lot invested in it. It’s a solid club and hopefully Cabrera comes back here soon.
“Well, since I made that comment of them needing to go 5-3, they’ve actually gone 2-2, and it’s been against two last-place clubs. So it’s kind of hard to say I’m optimistic about us staying. Yet I have no doubt that Dave’s going to drag it to Thursday or Friday. If I was in his shoes, that’s what I would do, because this team was set up to win, and it’s just kind of hard to throw in the towel.”
McKinnis also responded to Bowden’s report that there hadn’t been an offer since Spring Training and indicated what many of us have felt since the season opened: The Tigers and Price have never been close enough on talks to justify Price forgoing free agency.
“To say we’ve had no talks would be incorrect. We have had talks,” McKinnis said. “It was just very evident that we were coming from different places in the very beginning. There’s no doubt the Tigers would like to keep him, and I do believe they’re going to make an effort to bring him back this winter. Now, that may or may not happen, but it was evident they wanted to keep him and we expressed a desire to stay as well. But we were just coming from two different positions from the very beginning, and the talks just never really took off from there.”
The expectation of him testing free agency was furthered when McKinnis was asked about granting a team trading for him a 48-hour window to try to negotiate a long-term deal.
“I try to never say never,” McKinnis said, “so I’m not going to give a blanket no to that, because you don’t know what’s going to be on the other end. They may offer us a billion dollars. You just never know. So I’m not going to say no to it.
“At the same time, With respect to David approaching free agency, the way he and I have viewed it, it’s as though he’s been running a marathon with all these one-year contracts, and we went into this season five-sixths of the way through the marathon. Now we’re even beyond that. We’re sitting here two months away from free agency. It’s kind of tough to not wait on that, but I’m not going to say it’s impossible to at least entertain something of that nature.”