2/14/2014 2:54 P.M. ET
Price thrilled to enter camp still with Rays
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- David Price wore a broad smile standing in front of his locker Friday morning when pitchers and catchers reported to the Charlotte Sport Complex in advance of Saturday's first Spring Training workout.
"I'm definitely the happiest person in Port Charlotte," Price said. "I know there's not a whole bunch of people who get too pumped to come here, but I was definitely very excited to show up."
Price endured an offseason dealing with trade rumors about his future. The left-hander remained with the Rays during the Winter Meetings -- though he got mentioned in countless rumors. Then his situation reached a malaise as the market seemed to wait for Clayton Kershaw to sign a new deal with the Dodgers and Masahiro Tanaka to land with the Yankees.
"[Kershaw and Tanaka] were definitely a couple of different little markers that I thought would get the market going," Price said. "Fortunately for me and our team, it didn't happen fast enough. And I think kind of everything played in my benefit to stay here in the offseason. Maybe that's a sign and we'll take it from there."
Price chuckled when a reporter asked if his focus would be helped now that Spring Training is about to get underway and he's still with the Rays.
"I mean, I could still be traded," Price said. "... Once I get into the season, then it will kind of go away. But up until Opening Day, anything can happen.
"...Once tomorrow kind of starts, once I get my physical out of the way, give blood. If I give blood tomorrow, I'm not getting traded to somebody who hasn't given blood yet. That is not happening."
Hanigan ready to start work with new staff
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Ryan Hanigan joined the Rays in an offseason trade with the Reds. He will get the lion's share of the catching action this season with veteran Jose Molina serving as his backup.
When asked, Hanigan noted that learning a new staff was "definitely" the biggest challenge of joining a new team, exceeding the challenge of going from the National to the American League.
"The relationship with the guys," Hanigan said. "Once I get a feel for what they do then we can start looking at what hitters do. Obviously, hitters, their tendencies can change depending on the guy, if he's hot or cold, all the variables.
"The most important thing is to learn the staff. Learn what's made them successful. What they do, or makes them feel comfortable. Their personalities. All the stuff that goes into being successful and those guys, they know what they're doing. They're working."
Hanigan complimented the Rays video staff for helping him get some proactive offseason work in observing the staff.
"The video guys, over and over have really done a good job at giving me a chance to get a leg up here before Spring Training," Hanigan said. "That's what we're here for at Spring Training, to get that in-game experience. For me to get a feel for how [the pitchers' pitches] are moving in terms of not just getting hitters out, but balls in the dirt, the way the ball's going to come up. Blocking. All that stuff is stuff I've got to get a feel for. I've got some time to do it."
In addition to watching videos, Hanigan got to see some of the pitchers first hand during the offseason workouts that took place at Tropicana Field.
"I got a little bit of a head start there in St. Pete, because a lot of guys were down there, 10 or 11 guys, which was awesome," Hanigan said. "So I feel ready."
Cobb glad to see many familiar faces in clubhouse
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Alex Cobb looked around the clubhouse and observed there were a lot of familiar faces in camp, with limited changes.
Did it feel weird to see a lot of the same people?
"I wouldn't say it feels wierd," Cobb said. "I'd say it almost feels comfortable. With the offseason being as short as it was, with us making the playoffs, it kind of feels like we didn't skip a beat. Kind of feels like Ground Hog Day, just show up at the locker room, and there's your buddies. Let's go play ball again. It's nice to just have that smooth transition from the offseason."
•Proceeds from the sale of single-game tickets to the Rays-Twins Spring Training game on March 11 at Charlotte Sports Park will benefit the Rays Charlotte County community partners. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, the Charlotte County Family YMCA, Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity and the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition will be the recipients.
• Joe Maddon had his 2014 40-foot Tiffin Phaeton recreational vehicle -- "Uncle Eddie" -- parked near the podium when he and Andrew Friedman addressed the media on Friday. The Rays manager plans to live in the RV for the duration of Spring Training.
• Jeremy Hellickson (right elbow), Hak-Ju Lee (left knee) and Tim Beckham (right knee) were all inside the clubhouse Friday. Hellickson is expected back in May, Lee should be ready to go by the time games get started, and Beckham's timetable is undetermined at this point.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.