David Price Aimed To Assist Dodgers From Home During 2020 Season

Prior to Spring Training, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox for Mookie Betts and David Price. The deal, in one fell swoop, added another former MVP and Cy Young Award winner to their roster.

Betts went on to exceed lofty expectations in his first season with the Dodgers, finishing second in National League MVP voting while most importantly helping the club end their World Series drought.

As for Price, he did not factor into the Dodgers’ plans this season after opting out of participating due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

Despite not being present at the ballpark, Price explained that he wanted to assist his teammates from afar, often sharing observations with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and pitching coach Mark Prior, as seen on SportsNet LA:

“I told Prior and Doc that I was going to be watching every game. So if I see anything, I’m going to let them know. And I told them if they have anything they want me to watch for, I can do that as well. I’m trying to do what I can even though I’m not with the team. I still want to do everything I can to help these guys try to win a game. If that takes me pitching up something from the couch at home, I’m game for that.”

While Price was the lone member of the Dodgers’ 40-man roster to opt out this season, the decision was understood and supported by everyone. “It’s one of those things that, going into a season like this, I think as a player, coach or fan, you knew there was going to be players who obviously didn’t feel comfortable and would be opting out,” Joe Kelly said at the time.

“For me, myself, I can’t speak for everybody, but I know in the Dodgers clubhouse, everyone respects D.P.’s decision. That’s something that’s probably gone through most guy’s heads, honestly.

“For myself, knowing I have three kids — two of them are a little over two months — so a decision like that is obviously a personal one. Me knowing D.P. and where he was at, I respect D.P. for his decision.

“For D.P., we support him, we make him feel like he’s part of the team still. He watches all the games and text us, he was talking about the changeup I threw to Justin Turner, we talk in the team thread. He’s still part of our team. He still is engaging, rooting, supporting, talking baseball.

“That’s one of the cool things about David Price. It could be easier for someone to opt out and isolate themselves, but D.P. is a guy who cares so much about other people that he literally is the first one firing off texts the next day about the game. He’s a good human being.”

Price reinstated from restricted list

Last month the Dodgers reinstated Price from the restricted list in a procedural move that is par for the course come the offseason.

The left-hander has two years and $64 million remaining on a seven-year contract he signed with the Red Sox. Assuming he returns in 2021, Price figures to join a formidable Dodgers starting rotation that includes Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and some combination of Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Julio Urias.

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