Red Sox

Didi Gregorius gives Red Sox bulletin board material entering Yankees series

Didi Gregorius gives Red Sox bulletin board material entering Yankees series

The Boston Red Sox are well aware of what's at stake against the New York Yankees this weekend.

Sweep their bitter rivals and they still have a fighting chance in the American League East. Get swept and they're all but finished.

But in case there was any confusion, Didi Gregorius is here to help us out.

Here's what the Yankees shortstop said (via MLB.com's Bryan Hoch) when asked about New York's four-game series at Fenway Park, which begins Thursday night:

Every time we get a chance to play them and you get a chance to bury them, that’s all you want to do: keep expanding the lead.

The Red Sox may not have a traditional billboard anymore, but if they did, we'd imagine Gregorius' quote would be pinned to it.

Not that the veteran shortstop is wrong. The New York-Boston rivalry has been one-sided this season, with the Yankees winning six of their seven matchups to date.

The Bronx Bombers enter Thursday with an 11-game lead over the Red Sox for first place in the AL East and can balloon that number to as high as 15. Since 2000, no team has come back from a deficit of more than 13 games to win the division.

Perhaps the Sox can use Gregorius' words as motivation to dig themselves out of that sizable hole.

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MLB Rumors: 5 possible trade suitors for Red Sox LHP David Price

MLB Rumors: 5 possible trade suitors for Red Sox LHP David Price

The Boston Red Sox have made their offseason mission clear: shed payroll to go under the luxury tax threshold while maintaining a competitive ballclub for 2020.

One way to do that would be to part ways with left-hander David Price and the $96 million remaining on his contract. Rumors have swirled during the Winter Meetings about Boston looking for a trade partner willing to take on Price's hefty price tag, and reports say multiple teams are in the running for a potential blockbuster deal.

Tomase: No defense for how bad Sox fielding was in 2019

Here's a look at five possible destinations for the 34-year-old:

1. San Diego Padres

The Padres' primary need is a starter to pair with up-and-comer Chris Paddack at the front of the rotation, so it's no secret they're one of the teams reportedly in on Price.

San Diego is looking to part ways with 1B/OF Wil Myers (owed $68.5 million), so the swap would work out in Boston's favor financially and end its search for a first baseman. There also are plenty of prospects in the Padres system to sweeten any potential deal.

2. St. Louis Cardinals

Another team rumored to be in on the Price sweepstakes is the Cardinals, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.

St. Louis was one of the teams looking to sign the southpaw before he agreed to his seven-year, $217 million deal with Boston. The Cards could use a veteran arm to put at the front of the rotation alongside young guns Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson.

One roadblock here is it may cost the Red Sox an additional piece (say, Andrew Benintendi) to convince St. Louis to take on Price's salary.

3. Los Angeles Angels

The Angels are desperately searching for an front-end starter and just lost out on the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes to the New York Yankees. With the top dogs Cole and Stephen Strasburg off the free-agent board, Anaheim could pivot to the trade market.

4. Texas Rangers

The Red Sox reportedly have had conversations with the Rangers about a possible deal that would dump Price and fellow Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi's contracts onto Texas. The duo is owed a whopping $147 million over the next three seasons, but the American League West club could use some rotation depth.

Boston likely wouldn't get much in return in this hypothetical trade, but for a front office looking for a solution to its payroll problem, it makes sense as an option.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

Carl Crawford/Adrian Gonzalez/Josh Beckett trade part two?

The Dodgers, like the Angels, were involved in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes to the bitter end. Since it didn't work out in their favor, they could resort to plan B and take on Price's salary in a trade. With lefty Hyun-jin Ryu likely leaving in free agency, Price would make sense as a replacement.

Tomase: Price trade would put 2020 in jeopardy>>>

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MLB rumors: This NL West team has discussed David Price trade with Red Sox

MLB rumors: This NL West team has discussed David Price trade with Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox need to clear salary, and trading starting pitcher David Price is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal.

Price is signed through the 2022 season with an annual salary of $32 million. It was the fifth-highest base salary in all of Major League Baseball before top free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole reportedly agreed to sign a nine-year, $324 million contract with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night

The Red Sox have other high-priced players to consider trading, including star outfielder Mookie Betts, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.

If Betts is traded before next season or before the 2020 trade deadline, he could leave his new team in free agency. Price's situation is a bit different because he's under contract for three more years. Starting pitching also is more valuable than outfielders, even though Betts is an MVP-caliber player.

The Red Sox reportedly have talked to multiple teams about a Price trade. One of those clubs is the San Diego Padres, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

The Padres are not afraid of making bold offseason moves. This is the team that signed Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million contract last winter. The Padres still finished at the bottom of the National League West in 2019 -- 36 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers -- so plenty more improvements are required for this franchise to return to the MLB postseason.

Price certainly would be a genuine upgrade to the Padres rotation. San Diego ranked 12th out of 15 NL teams in starting pitcher ERA last season. Price, who went 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 22 starts for the Red Sox in 2019, also would bring much-needed experience (including 23 postseason appearances) to the Padres rotation.

Tomase: Price trade would put 2020 in jeopardy>>>

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