Rays hope Price will be keystone of a top rotation

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Surprisingly, the Tampa Bay Rays did not trade former Cy Young winner David Price this off-season. Even he thought he would be traded, but now that he is still here, the Rays have a great pitching staff.

As far as the Rays philosophy has gone, Price should not be a Ray. But the trade market did not yield what the Rays wanted, so they kept him.

"Everybody knows how much I love this organization, love being here in St. Pete and Tampa, how well they have treated me and my dog Astro for 6-7 years is incredible. I feel at home here, am comfortable and I love it here. I enjoy it," says Price.

Even he thought he was gone, but the Rays will pay him $14 million and hope that he leads them to a World Series. This may be the perfect time for the Rays. "It has another great feel. I think we come into Spring Training every year with a good group of talented guys from which to choose our 25-man roster. This year is no different," says Price.

This pitching staff is deep, even without Price. All-star Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Archer all have talent and potential. But it is still nice to have a player with Price's numbers.

"It’s always in the back of your mind somewhat because you understand the reality of the situation. It's a business. We all know who David is and what he is capable of," says Moore.

If the Rays fall out of contention prior to the trade deadline, Price will most likely be shopped again. But he is here…for now. “Obviously we would like to have him here on our side as long as we can," says Moore.