The Boston Red Sox are viewed as the likeliest destination for All-Star free agent pitcher David Price due to their financial flexibility, Peter Gammons of the Gammons Daily writes.
Price, 30, is viewed by many as the top pitcher on the market and arguably the top player, too. Coming off another stellar season, Price is expected to land a contract of least six to eight years valued at $200 million total. There have been several teams linked to the left-hander early this offseason, but several GM’s around the league are telling Gammons that Boston may win the bidding for Price.
“Boston will go $30-40M above anyone else,” one NL GM opined to Gammons.
After being traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline, Price led the team to its first playoff appearance since 1993. Through 11 starts in Toronto, Price went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 74-and-one-third innings pitched. Overall on the season, Price finished 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA through 220-and-one-third innings, good for a second-place finish in the AL Cy Young award voting.
In the postseason, Price made four appearances for the Blue Jays, which included three starts. In the ALDS, Price went 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA in the Blue Jays’ series win over the Rangers and then went 0-1 with a 5.40 through two starts in the ALCS.
One of the few knocks against Price has been his pitching in the playoffs. He sports a 2-7 with a 5.40 ERA in 14 games (eight starts) in his postseason career.
— MLB Daily Dish (@mlbdailydish) November 25, 2015
A former longtime member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Price is now on the open market for the first time in his career. As previously mentioned, several teams are reportedly interested in Price; including the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and more.
While the Blue Jays are usually not big spenders, reports suggest that a reunion between both sides is far from unlikely. For instance, Gideon Turk of Blue Jays Plus tweeted recently that there are several ways in which the Blue Jays could afford Price, but it’s up to him whether or not he wants to return.
Source cont: “He likes Toronto and the clubhouse.” Just deciding what is the best way to “maximize our budget”. — Gideon Turk (@GideonTurk) November 25, 2015
Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports gave a less promising outlook on Price reunion with the Blue Jays. Rosenthal did write that Price felt a sense of comfort in Toronto “almost immediately,” but the Blue Jays are still not viewed as a likely landing spot.
“While Price enjoyed his time with the Blue Jays and is open to returning to Toronto, the Jays are not expected to be a major factor in his free agency, sources say.”
Fans have begun putting forth their own means of luring Price to remain north of the border. One of those methods is a website that fans have set up in an attempt to get Price back in Toronto.
— theScore (@theScore) November 24, 2015
Price himself has been vocal on Twitter during his first offseason without a cap to call his own. The former AL Cy Young award winner from 2012 joked that he was going to play baseball in a foreign country next season.
I can always tell the big rumor days…tons of mentions when I haven’t even said anything!! I love you all BUT I’m going to play in Japan — David Price (@DAVIDprice14) November 24, 2015
At this moment, the Red Sox are under new management in the form of Dave Dombrowski, the former Detroit Tigers’ president. Dombrowski has made it clear that upgrading the Red Sox’ starting rotation is the team’s biggest concern. Thus, signing Price or acquiring any other top pitcher is currently on team’s agenda.
As one GM put it to Gammons, signing Price to a long-term deal with the Red Sox is important to Dombrowski and one of the few reasons he’s currently with the team.
“I just think that Dombrowski loves him and he is part of the job Dave took.”
[Image by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]