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.
No progress for #RedSox in trade discussions involving David Price, sources tell The Athletic. #Padres, who badly want to moves Wil Myers, are among clubs Boston has spoken with. Pads extremely active, involved in a large, almost dizzying, number of pursuits.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2019
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.
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