Price likes Detroit, open to extension talks
Left-hander eligible to become a free agent after the 2015 season
DETROIT -- Like a typical Michigan winter, the weather was chilly to greet David Price back to town Thursday for the Tigers Winter Caravan. Price, however, was not chilly to Detroit.
If nothing else, he wanted to clear the air -- cold as it is -- about that when he talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since his roller-coaster 2014 season ended in October.
"This is not somewhere that I disliked," Price said. "I only said that it was different, and it's not different anymore. It's more normal now, knowing all the guys, knowing all the coaches, knowing everybody's name and stuff like that."
Going into his contract year, on the heels of Max Scherzer's free-agent departure for Washington, that was a big point for Price to get across. As the industry ponders Price's future and his potential market, he indicated he's open to discussions on a long-term contract, even as he acknowledged the strong lure of being able to pick his destination and see what his market value is.
Like Scherzer last spring, it's only a season away for Price -- or, as he sees it, 30-some starts away.
"I'm open for anything, to be honest," he said. "But once you have -- I guess I'm about a week short of six years in the big leagues right now -- to get that far along in the process, some of you does kind of want to wait it out, but then some of you feels like, 'Well, if they're open to doing something, you can't close any doors.' That's the way I feel. I enjoy it here. I enjoy the staff and the guys and the stadium, everything of that nature. …
"I've been doing this for a while. To get to that point where you can have your place to play, have your choice to pick where you want to play, this would definitely be on the list."
The Tigers will take that. They're interested in talking with Price and agent Bo McKinnis about an extension this spring, even if the odds seem long. At the same time, a full season for Price to get to know Detroit might not be a bad thing for them.
The combination of Winter Caravan and TigerFest this week is in some ways an introduction for Price to the community, and much of the community to Price. Other than a helicopter tour around the time of his birthday in August, he didn't get a chance to get out much. His itinerary this week includes Lipari Foods and Winter's Sausage in Warren, Mich., Detroit's Neighborhood Service Organization and the U.S. Border Patrol. He'll be a headline attraction at TigerFest on Saturday.
"Just to get out in the public and meet with people and see what's going on, I enjoy that stuff," Price said. "It's something I did a lot of in Tampa, and I like doing that."
He'll even take the weather, though comparing the Midwestern chill to his hometown of Nashville, Tenn., seemed shaky.
"Growing up in Tennessee, we would have some cold weather," he said. "Not a whole lot of snow, but it would get chilly when the wind would get blowing. I'm fine with the cold weather."