Tampa Bay Rays


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The tall (6’6”) and imposing southpaw from Tennessee was highly touted when he arrived on the major league scene late in the Rays’ magical 2008 American League championship campaign and showed that he indeed was an ace for opponents to contend with in the future. Sure enough, within two years, Price would be the starting pitcher for the AL All-Star team.
With a blazing fastball clocked high in the 90s, Price appeared in five games late in 2008 and authored a 1.93 earned run average; in five more relief appearances that postseason, he allowed just one earned run in 5.2 innings of work—winning Game Two of the ALCS against Boston and saving the clinching seventh game to send the Rays to the World Series.
After a lackluster sophomore effort (10-7, 4.42 ERA) in 2009, Price in 2010 rose to the level anticipated by many, taking 19 of 25 decisions with a fine 2.72 ERA and finishing second in the AL Cy Young vote behind Seattle’s Felix Hernandez. Two years later, he did one better with 20 wins (against five losses) to become the Rays’ first-ever 20-game winner—and was second to none in the Cy count, becoming the first Tampa Bay player to be so bestowed.
It is assumed that the Derek Jeter is not on Price’s Christmas card list; the New York Yankees’ star shortstop not only hit a home run for the first major league hit off of Price, but in 2011 stroked his 3,000th career hit—also a home run—off of Price.
Price’s dominant reign with the Rays came to an end in 2014 when he was dealt to Detroit at the trading deadline. The exit was hardly a shock; Price had little more than a year left on his contract and the budget-strapped Rays knew they had no chance of paying massive sums of money to keep him afterward.

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