David Price is not close to returning to the Rays

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Rays left-hander David Price is eligible to return from the disabled list on Friday. But that will not happen.

According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Price is beginning to feel better but has not begun a throwing program and is still at least a couple weeks away from stepping back atop a mound. He’s been out since May 15 with a strained left triceps muscle.

“I honestly have no idea,” Price told reporters when asked to project a possible date for his return. “You have to give it a chance to heal, a chance to get better, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

Jake Odorizzi will continue to fill in for now. If he struggles, Chris Archer is probably next in line.

Price, 27, had a 5.24 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 49/14 K/BB ratio in 55 innings (nine starts) before suffering his triceps injury. He posted a 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205/59 K/BB ratio across 211 innings in 2012.

The Rays entered play Sunday with a 24-24 record, six games back in the American League East.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?