As part of his experience as the Warren Spahn Award winner, David Price got the chance to autograph a baseball with former pitcher Ferguson Jenkins.
He noticed one big difference between their signatures: the “HOF,” that Jenkins put next to his name.
“That’s definitely something I would like to add to my signature,” Price said Thursday in Oklahoma City while accepting the award recognizing baseball’s top left-handed pitcher.
Having pitched in a World Series, started the All-Star Game and finished second in voting for the AL Cy Young Award by age 25, Price has the highest of aspirations for his baseball career.
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“I expect a lot of stuff from myself,” said Price, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft. “If I come anywhere near meeting my expectations for myself, everybody else ought to be pretty satisfied.”
Price could find it more difficult to live up to his own expectations this season. The Rays have been ravaged by free agency after their second American League East title in three years, losing All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford and slugging first baseman Carlos Peña, along with AL saves leader Rafael Soriano and four other members of a strong bullpen.
Price went 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA last season and finished behind Seattle’s Felix Hernandez in voting for the Cy Young. Hernandez was 13-12 but led the AL in ERA (2.27), innings (2492/3) and opponents’ batting average (.212) — his record suffered because of minuscule run support.
“If he puts up those numbers anywhere else, he’s going to have over 20 wins. I can’t argue with that,” Price said. “That’s the one thing I feel like you really can’t control is winning or losing. You can control strikeouts, you can control for the most part ERA. That’s what he did, so I feel like he was the most dominant pitcher even though he didn’t get the wins.”
The Spahn Award is based solely on statistics – wins, ERA and strikeouts – and Price didn’t take the lead over Boston’s Jon Lester, a former Bellarmine Prep star, until he struck out eight in eight shutout innings against Baltimore in his final start.
Andruw Jones agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the Yankees, subject to a physical. He can earn an additional $1.2 million in performance bonuses. The Dodgers and outfielder Marcus Thames have agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract. Lefty reliever Javier Lopez, who was eligible for salary arbitration, has agree to terms with the World Series champion Giants on a one-year contract for $2,375,000. Right-hander Chris Young and the Mets finalized a one-year contract. Minor league pitchers Joselito Adames (A’s) and San Lazaro Solano (Phillies) were suspended 50 games each after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.