By Dory LeBlanc
Two members of the Tampa Bay Rays Radio broadcast team joined WDAE Monday as the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando began, and the hottest topic surrounding the Rays is what the future of David Price holds.
Play-by-play announcer Andy Freed joined The Sports Page as Day 1 of the four-day event and said he isn't sure Price gets dealt this week, or possibly anytime soon even.
"Well, if you go by what has already happened around Major League Baseball with trades and signings, then you would think something is going to happen," Freed said. "But I think the Rays are really still in this position of power right now where they don't really have to make a deal for David Price, but especially because there's such a rationing up of teams right now, all throughout every division, even divisions that don't normally spend - I mean, look at the American League West right now where there's got to be competition among that group to see who can get the biggest name player that can have the biggest impact. So I think the Rays are really in the driver's seat. At some they're going to trade David Price, but I don't think they have to this week, I don't think they have to next week, I mean, the (James) Shields trade didn't come until much later in the wintertime, so I think the Rays are still kind of in the position where they're sittting back and seeing who comes to them and what they have to offer.
Freed also explains how the landscape changes if they decide to keep the 2012 Cy Young Winner and what could be on the horizon for the Rays this offseason. To hear the entire segment with Andy Freed, click the player below:
Next on the Ron and Ian Show, Freed's broadcasting partner, Dave Wills, also talked about Price, but started the conversation talking to Ron Diaz about the moves the Rays have already made, including the signing of catcher Ryan Hanigan and how it improves the overall catching situation in Tampa Bay.
"The thing I'm reading and hearing from people is that he's also an excellent game caller," Wills said. "And again, with all the analytics that the Rays use, all the information that is gathered by the people in the front office, Andrew Friedman and all those baseball operations guys and then passed down to Joe Maddon and then to (pitching coach) Jim Hickey and (bullpen coach) Stan Borowski, he's going to help with those guys to decipher it and then utilize it to our best advantage so I think that's a great advantage for us because he's supposed to be an excellent game caller. And I think with this too guys is, you know, who knows what's going to happen with the rest of the catching situation? Andrew (Friedman) may still look to move one of guys. But if Jose Molina does become our backup guy, the thing I remember about Jose Molina is back in 2009-2010 when he was a backup catcher, he was one of the best backup catchers in the game. And I think that's what I'm looking forward to in 2014 is that if we don't have to worry about utilizing him 100 games a year, maybe it's 60, maybe it's 65 or 70, he's a little bit more mobile, he doesn't get as tired, he doesn't get as heavy-legged as he did actually did during the (2013) season, maybe this helps us out at the catcher position. Because you guys know, we talk about it at nauseum it seems whenever we go on the air here and even during the broadcast that that was an area where the Rays really needed to address, I thought, to get better and I think Hanigan, if he can stay healthy, addresses part of that situation."
To hear the conversation with Wills in its entirety, click the player below:
Remember to tune in this Thursday from 7-8pm as Andy Freed, Dave Wills, and Neil Solondz host Rays Countdown To Opening Day: Winter Meetings Edition on 620 am/95.3 fm. You can also listen online by clicking HERE.