Lakeland, Fla. — A little extra time away from weight rooms and baseball fields has apparently done David Price some good.
“Yeah, I took a good time off this year just to let my body recharge,” he said Friday after throwing his second bullpen session of the week. “It feels good now. I am right back where I need to be.”
He’s mentally refreshed as well. As he said during TigerFest last month, the 2014 season was the most emotionally draining of his young career.
“It was the longest year I’ve had in the big leagues,” he said. “It was the most stressful with the rumors of being traded, then being traded and adjusting to a new environment. So I took some time off. I felt like that was the biggest thing I needed to do was just to reset.”
He took close to two months off before he went back to his alma mater, Vanderbilt, and started his normal offseason program. He’s been in Lakeland all week (pitchers and catchers aren’t scheduled to report until Thursday).
“I am in the weight room every day and I am throwing every day,” he said. “I throw two bullpens (a week), just getting my body ready to go.”
Price, 29, who was 4-4 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.146 WHIP in 11 starts after being traded to the Tigers last July 31, will be a free agent after this season. He said he fully expects the Tigers to begin negotiating a contract extension with his agent Bo McKinnis, but if talks have begun he is not aware of it.
“I have no idea,” he said. “If my agent calls and tells me, that’s when I will hear something. It’s more in their (Tigers) court than ours. If they haven’t (initiated talks), I am sure they will at some point.”
The Tigers were in a similar situation with Max Scherzer last offseason. The Tigers tried to work out a deal prior to the start of the season and once Scherzer declined their $144 million offer, they cut off negotiations during the season.
Price would prefer not to have to deal with lingering contract negotiations during the season either.
“I just don’t want it to be a problem to anything else,” he said. “I want to have a clear conscience every five days when I am out there and be able to answer questions about the present.”
It won’t be any distraction or added pressure, he said, if the talks were to get tabled until after the season.
“That’s all right,” he said. “I understand that side of baseball. That’s a side a lot of people don’t get to see whole lot and aren’t familiar with what really goes on. I am just going to take my time, continue to prepare and get ready for the season.
“If something happens — awesome.”
Chris McCosky on Twitter @cmccosky