Red Sox

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.

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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 a 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 team 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

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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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J.D. Martinez states without equivocation that Red Sox will be exonerated by MLB investigation

J.D. Martinez states without equivocation that Red Sox will be exonerated by MLB investigation

SPRINGFIELD -- For five hours on Saturday morning at Winter Weekend, Red Sox players and coaches delivered basically the same message in regards to the 2018 cheating scandal: We're not at liberty to say anything until the league finishes its investigation.

And then J.D. Martinez stepped in front of the cameras.

The slugging DH, who earlier this offseason chose to remain in Boston rather than exercise an opt-out in his contract, minced no words when asked if the Red Sox did anything wrong during their championship 2018 season.

"You know, it sucks, to be honest with you," he said of the investigation. "It does suck. But you know what? I know I'm excited for the investigation to be over with just so that they can see that there was nothing going on here."

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So he believes the team is innocent of the charges that it used the replay room to steal opposing signs in real time?

"I believe that, yes," Martinez said.

And what gives Martinez this confidence, despite a report to the contrary in The Athletic claiming that the Red Sox stole signs?

"Because I was in there," he said. "I saw what was. . . . Straight up, everyone seems to forget that in 2017 and '16 this team was a really good team. This team won 93 games those two years and then we just got better."

Martinez spoke without hesitation, and also saluted departed manager Alex Cora, while offering some insight into why Cora decided to leave the team.

"Kind of heartbroken about it," he said. "I talked to him before and I understood his side of it. He didn't want to be a distraction going into the season. I know it was wearing on him and his family, so I obviously feel for him and I wish him the best. But I know he played a big, big role for our team and he was one of my favorites, if not my favorite manager that I've had. It's going to be tough."

Mike Lowell says he'd love to take job as Red Sox manager temporarily if it brought Alex Cora back

Mike Lowell says he'd love to take job as Red Sox manager temporarily if it brought Alex Cora back

Mike Lowell would check a lot of the boxes the Red Sox would be looking for in their managerial search. The popular former Red Sox third baseman is a Cuban-American who speaks Spanish and English and is media-savvy as an analyst for the MLB Network. 

Still, there's one condition he has that will probably take Lowell out of the running. 

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The 2007 World Series MVP and 2018 inductee into the team's Hall of Fame has no managerial experience, but told WEEI's Rob Bradford in a text message, "I would love to if I knew it was just for a year and Cora was guaranteed to come back."

Alex Cora, a Red Sox teammate of Lowell's for three seasons (2006-08), was let go by on Tuesday after he was named as the central figure in Major League Baseball's investigation of sign-stealing by the Houston Astros when Cora was their bench coach in 2017. Cora is also alleged to have brought a similar system to Boston when he became manager before the 2018 season. MLB is continuing to investigate the allegations against the Red Sox and it will likely result in a suspension of one season or longer for Cora.

Former Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were each suspended for a season by MLB and subsequently fired by Houston.

With Cora facing perhaps a longer punishment, or perhaps even a lifetime ban from baseball -- and from Red Sox ownership's telling silence when asked if Cora would ever manage in the majors again -- Lowell's plan of temporarily filling in until Cora's return isn't likely to fly.