Price has been rumored to be on the trade market this offseason, with the Mariners one of his biggest pursuers. However, agent Bo McKinnis apparently has no qualms about saying his client would not like to remain with the Mariners if that is where he was sent.
McKinnis's frank words may hurt the Rays in negotiations with the Mariners. With Seattle knowing outright that Price would only be with the team for, at most, two years, they may not be willing to pay as high of a price for the former Cy Young winner. Though the Mariners had already been withholding top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker in negotiations, other top prospects like catcher Mike Zunino may have been in play.
Though he would not accept an extension with the Mariners, Price would be willing to sign one with other teams. However, McKinnis refrained from saying who those teams would be. One could assume that Price would want to sign with a perennial contender if he puts his name on a long-term contract.
The Mariners have not been in contention recently, but are making waves this offseason. They have already signed Robinson Cano for $240 million and are also in play on several other big names like Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz. Along with a top farm system, the Mariners could be poised to compete in the AL West for several years. Still, Price apparently would have no desire to stay in Seattle. His feelings could change, of course, but if the Mariners had hoped to give him an extension, this may drive them from trade talks.
Price, 28, still has two years of team control remaining. He finished second in AL Cy Young voting in 2010 before winning the award in 2012 when he posted a 2.56 ERA and struck out 205 batters in 31 starts. He made 27 starts in 2013 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He was much more effective after sitting for six weeks in May and June due to injury. In his final 18 starts, he had a 2.53 ERA while holding opponents to a 591 OPS.