BOSTON (CBS) — A trade of David Price this winter is starting to look like an inevitability. With the Red Sox looking to cut some salary to get under the luxury tax, and with presumably some good years still left in Price’s left arm, the 34-year-old figures to draw some interest in that market.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Price already has.
“The Boston Red Sox continue to pursue ways to shed salary, and multiple teams have targeted starter David Price,” Passan tweeted. “He is owed $96 million over the next three years. Red Sox could either attach player with value or potentially pay down some of Price’s remaining [money].”
The Boston Red Sox continue to pursue ways to shed salary, and multiple teams have targeted starter David Price, sources tell ESPN. He is owed $96 million over the next three years. Red Sox could either attach player with value or potentially pay down some of Price's remaining $.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2019
For the Red Sox, the attachment of that player figures to be a major drawback, especially if teams ask for a young major leaguer like Andrew Benintendi. Paying a large portion of Price’s remaining salary may end up being more palatable than trading away a big league player.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the Red Sox hand’t made any real progress in trade talks, as of Tuesday night, while adding the Boston has spoken with the Padres.
No progress for #RedSox in trade discussions involving David Price, sources tell The Athletic. #Padres, who badly want to moves Wil Myers, are among clubs Boston has spoken with. Pads extremely active, involved in a large, almost dizzying, number of pursuits.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2019
In four regular seasons with the Red Sox, Price has gone 46-24 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.204 WHIP, along with 609 strikeouts over 588 innings pitched. After pitching a league-leading 230 innings in his first season with Boston, Price has averaged just 119.1 innings per season over the last three years.
In the postseason, Price posted a 6.61 ERA in his first five playoff appearances with Boston. But beginning with Game 5 of the ALCS against Houston in 2018, he put together a 3-0 record with a 1.37 ERA, garnering serious consideration for World Series MVP.
He followed that up, though, with a disappointing 2019 campaign, pitching just 107.1 innings and posting a 7-5 record and a career-worst 4.28 ERA. He missed time early in the year due to an elbow injury, before a wrist injury in the summer limited him to just one appearance over the final two months of the year.