It’s not often a 30-year-old left-hander who has been among the game’s best pitchers over the last five seasons can be overshadowed in free agency.
However, in a sense that’s what has happened to David Price with Zack Greinke also a free agent.
Price is the younger of the two, but Greinke is coming off a career-best season. Fortunately for the pair of aces, there are several teams in the market for starting pitching.
With that, neither should have trouble in securing a long-term contract at the value they desire. What’s more, there are teams believed to be considering both Greinke and Price.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are among the teams interested in Price:
Two heated rivals in the NL Central want him. So do two in the NL West. So does another team from his old AL East that is widely expected to be the high bidder. The essential dynamics, though, remain unchanged – the teams with the most interest in Price, in no particular order, are the Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants and Red Sox, according to major-league sources.
The Dodgers are said to have Greinke as their top target, with the Giants viewed as the biggest challenge to the Dodgers’ re-signing the 32 year old. Greinke is reportedly seeking a contract that will pay him $30 million annually.
As for the American League East team that may outbid other clubs, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports it to be the Boston Red Sox:
Among some executives involved in the David Price bidding, there is an expectation that the Boston Red Sox will generate the highest offer for the left-handed pitcher. The Red Sox are looking for an ace to front their rotation, and Boston president David Dombrowski knows Price, having acquired him before on behalf of the Tigers, and he knows his medical history and the impact he can have on a staff.
The Dodgers also have a pre-existing connection to Price through team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. However, Los Angeles already has a starting rotation with a bevy of left-handers in Brett Anderson, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood.
Boston and Los Angeles of course aren’t alone — Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon was the Tampa Bay Rays skipper during Price’s time in Florida.
Price was 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA, 2.78 FIP and 1.08 WHIP last season. He made 21 starts with the Detroit Tigers and 11 starts with the Toronto Blue Jays. In four postseason games (three starts), Price finished 1-2 with a 6.17 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 23 strikeouts to three walks in 23.1 innings.
An ESPN survey revealed MLB executives would feel more comfortable signing Greinke to a nine-figure contract ahead of Price.