David Price became the most high-profile player to opt out of the 2020 season and in doing so put the Los Angeles Dodgers in a bit of a difficult position. Price was projected to serve as the Dodgers’ No. 3 starter and many anticipated the veteran playing a key role in the postseason.
That all is a moot point now, and though the Dodgers face uncertainty, they remain supportive of Price. “The Dodgers fully support David’s decision to sit out the 2020 season,” the team said in a statement.
“We have been in constant contact with David and we understand how much this deliberation weighed on him and his family. We know he’ll be rooting hard for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021.”
Last week Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts made it clear they both would be understanding if a coach, staff member or player decided to opt out of the 2020 season.
Friedman reiterated that message in the immediate aftermath of Price announcing his decision. Like everyone, David for a few months now has been trying to wrap his arms around everything,” Friedman said.
“I’ve talked to him off and on over the last couple months and Dave has as well. He came in on Wednesday and was of the mind that he was going to play. I think just talking to his family, he kind of arrived at this point. My role in this has been just to support him through it and not have any kind of rooting interest in what is a very personal decision.”
Friedman declined to say whether or not he was surprised by his former Tampa Bay Rays top draft pick electing not to play this year. “It’s one of those things that everyone is internalize everything going on differently, so I don’t know that there are any right or wrong answers at this point,” he said.
“It’s something that I know has been on his mind for a while now. I think the allure of playing with his teammates that he created a great bond with in Spring Training what was kind of pushing him to do it, but ultimately it just got to a point where he wasn’t comfortable.
“Again, this is more for him to talk about. I don’t want to put words in his mouth and share things that he wouldn’t want. He has been in contact with us throughout and it wasn’t clear which way it was going to play out but we’ve supported him along the way.”
How Dodgers may replace Price
If there’s an area the Dodgers have depth in, it’s starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Alex Wood were named to the rotation during Spring Training. Ross Stripling, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May figure to be candidates to replace Price.
Friedman acknowledged the Dodgers have the utmost confidence in Stripling’s ability to handle any role, but he stopped short of naming the right-hander the team’s new fifth starter.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!