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.
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.
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