ST. PETERSBURG -- Wade Davis received a long-term contract with the Rays this past week, so could David Price be next?
Tampa Bay's No. 1 starter was asked if he might consider signing a long-term deal if approached by the club.
"Yeah, everybody here knows that I feel very comfortable here with the Rays," Price said. "And I feel like I fit in very well with this organization and how they do stuff. If it's something we're able to get done, it's definitely something I'd like to do."
When asked if he could see himself pitching for the Rays a long time, the left-hander smiled.
"I would love to," Price said. "I do look at it that way. Hopefully there's something we can do to make that happen. But if not, I completely understand. This is a business first."
Rays utilize flexibility, move players around
ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon used his entire bench in Saturday night's 3-1 loss to Baltimore. Demonstrating the flexibility of the roster, the Rays finished with Elliot Johnson at shortstop, Sam Fuld in left, Dan Johnson at third and Johnny Damon at first base.
Damon had not played first base since 2008, but the move to first from left field made the most sense at the time, since Eliot Johnson had pinch-hit for Reid Brignac and had to play short. Ben Zobrist could not move from second since Fuld had pinch-hit for Sean Rodriguez, who entered the game to take Evan Longoria's place. Meanwhile, Dan Johnson was the only player left who could play third, so he moved from first to make up the Rays' final look in the field.
"We can do all those different things as the game is in progress and that permits us to take advantage of matchups," Maddon said.
Howell pleased with bullpen session
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays reliever J.P. Howell threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Sunday, which was an important step for him, since it was the first time he has thrown a bullpen after having just a day off.
The left-hander, who underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder last May, threw all of his pitches and seemed pleased with the session.
"It's time to go, I'm ready," Howell said. "I've got to see some hitters. I'm getting cabin fever."
Howell will now take two days off and throw another 35-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday in which he will throw all of his pitches. Then he'll throw a 25-pitch session consisting of fastballs only on Friday before using all of his pitches during a 35-pitch session next Sunday. All of the sessions will take place at Tropicana Field.
After next Sunday's session, the Rays will decide the plan for Howell to follow. If all goes well he'll likely report to Port Charlotte, Fla., for a series of appearances in games for the Rays' Florida State League team.
Howell said that the most realistic date he expects to be back with the team is May 18.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.