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.

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 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

Carl Crawford/Adrian Gonzalez/Josh Beckett trade Part 2?

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>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

J.D. Martinez shares new revelation about Astros sign-stealing in 2018 playoffs

J.D. Martinez shares new revelation about Astros sign-stealing in 2018 playoffs

Mike Fiers didn't blow the lid on the Houston Astros' sign-stealing operation until early this year.

But the Boston Red Sox knew what the Astros were up to entering the 2018 American League Championship Series -- thanks to a tip from Fiers.

That's according to Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who revealed Thursday that Fiers made him aware of the Astros' illegal sign-stealing system before the 2018 playoffs.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

"The only way I ever found out was towards in the playoffs when Fiers -- who is a very good friend of mine -- he reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, make sure you’re doing this because this is what these guys are doing in the playoffs,' " Martinez told WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" radio show. "I was like, ‘What?! How is this a thing?’ "

Martinez said he mentioned Fiers' tip to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who told Martinez "about the whole system," having served as Houston's bench coach in 2017.

"That was why it was so crazy," Martinez said. "(Cora) was so relaxed going into those playoff games because he knew -- we were ready for it."

New Red Sox catcher Jonathan Lucroy suggested Thursday that many MLB teams were aware the Astros were cheating.

But Cora had specific knowledge of Houston's operation, and considering Boston dispatched the Astros 4-1 in the 2018 ALCS en route to a World Series title, it's worth wondering how much Fiers' counter-intelligence benefited the Red Sox (if it all) in their series victory.

It's also worth wondering if Cora shared Houston's method of stealing signs -- which involved a TV monitor next to the dugout and banging on trash cans to alert hitters of certain pitches -- with the 2018 Red Sox, who are under investigation for their own sign-stealing operation.

Martinez insisted Boston didn't adopt any part of the Astros' system, however.

"You can put me on any lie detector," Martinez said. "Alex Cora never influenced us and never told us about that thing."

Red Sox fans won't be happy with how much the Brewers are paying Brock Holt

Red Sox fans won't be happy with how much the Brewers are paying Brock Holt

The Boston Red Sox have had a rough offseason. And on Thursday night, it got a bit rougher.

The latest news concerning the Red Sox is in relation to the contract that Brock Holt signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. Holt, a team leader who had spent almost all of his major league career with the Red Sox, left the team in free agency, but it wasn't because he wanted to leave. He wanted to be a life-long Red Sox.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Instead, the team opted to let the 31-year-old super-utility player walk as they attempt to retool and cut costs.

But just how much is the team saving by not signing Holt? According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Holt's one-year pact with the Brewers is worth $3.25 million and has a club option for $5 million the following season.

That isn't big-time money and there's no doubt that the Red Sox could've matched that while staying under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold. But instead, they opted not to bring back the fan-favorite even in the wake of the brand-damaging Betts deal.

That certainly won't please the fan base. And as a result, the Red Sox will likely roll with Jonathan Arauz and Jose Peraza, two relatively unproven players, as their utility infielders.

Arauz was a pick in the Rule 5 draft, so he has to remain on the team's 25-man major league roster for the entire year in order for the Red Sox to retain his rights. He's only 21 but hit .249 with 11 homers during stints in single and double-A last season.

As for Peraza, he was signed for $3 million during the offseason. The 25-year-old has upside as a former top Cincinnati Reds prospect who hit .288 with 14 homers in 2018. However, he regressed last season, hitting .239 with six homers, and has a career fielding percentage of .973. Comparatively, Holt's .981 fielding percentage, while largely playing the same positions as Peraza, is an upgrade.

Perhaps these potential-based moves will end up working for the Red Sox, especially if Peraza can find his power in the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park. But given that Holt would've only cost a bit more to retain, it's hard to understand why the team wouldn't bring him back.

At the very least, fans of the team would've been happy to see him return. And amid a tough two-month stretch for Sox, that's some goodwill they certainly could've used.