"I expect him to be a Ray at this time next year, absolutely," he said. "I don’t envision a scenario that he’s not."
Price, 27, is still under team control through 2015, giving the Rays two more years of team control. However, even in arbitration, Price will be expensive. He is making just over $10 million this season after agreeing to a deal to avoid arbitration. That price tag will continue to rise over the next two seasons as he remains arbitration eligible.
Despite continued success on the field, the Rays have consistently had one of the lowest attendance rates in Major League Baseball. A lack of revenue from ticket sales has required the team to maintain a relatively low payroll. This has required the team to be prudent about signing players to big contracts, instead often trading them away to bolster their minor league system.
Due to the team's financial situation, Sternberg would not commit to saying Price would remain a Ray beyond a year from now. Sternberg said that given the contracts top pitchers have signed recently, it would be difficult for Price to remain in Tampa Bay even if the team's revenue was up.
The Rays will certainly be able to collect a good haul in prospects if they eventually do decide to trade Price. Left-handed Cy Young winners are hard to come by, and there will certainly be teams that will jump at the opportunity to grab one.
Price is currently on the disabled list with a left triceps strain, but recently pitched in a rehab start and is nearing a return. This season, he has a 5.24 ERA over nine starts. He narrowly beat out Justin Verlander to win the AL Cy Young in 2012 after posting a 2.54 ERA over 31 starts.