Just before the start of Spring Training this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox to acquire a former MVP in Mookie Betts and former Cy Young Award winner in David Price.
While Betts was the headliner of the deal, Price should be a solid addition to the Dodgers’ rotation and is under contract for three more seasons.
Players’ jersey numbers are always fun to keep track of, and since some of the numbers Price has worn throughout his career like 14, 24 and 10 are all either taken or retired in the Dodgers organization, he decided to go with No. 33.
He explained the reason for that during his introductory press conference, stating that he chose it for his former teammate with the Tampa Bay Rays, James Shields.
Price and Shields were teammates on the Rays from 2008-12 and became good friends during that time. Shields actually grew up as a Dodger fan in Santa Clarita, so in an interview with David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports, he discussed how humbled he was by Price deciding on No. 33:
“He’s crazy, man. He’s one of my best friends in baseball and man, what an honor. He didn’t even tell me about it. I actually found out about it over the TV. I was like, ‘Oh man, he’s wearing my number.’ And then next thing you know he starts telling the story. It’s pretty special. It’s exactly what I would do for him.
“He was a good kid when he came up in 2008. I kind of helped take him under my wing a little bit and we became really, really good friends. I’m stoked he’s a Dodger now, man. Growing up in L.A. and being a Dodger fan my whole life, to be able to see him wear 33 in a Dodgers uniform is pretty special.”
Unfortunately, Price’s debut with the Dodgers will have to wait as the whole league is currently shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
If the entire season ends up being cancelled, which isn’t necessarily likely at this time, then it is possible that Price is the Dodgers’ only return in their blockbuster trade with the Red Sox.
Betts is in his final year of club control before hitting free agency next winter, and the league has decided that players will get a full year of service time regardless of how many games are actually held in 2020.
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