As the Boston Red Sox reportedly were engaged with teams in Mookie Betts trade talks, David Price was often mentioned as likely to move in a deal as well.
The Red Sox were motivated to get below the luxury tax threshold for the 2020 season, and trading Betts’ $27 million salary along with Price’s remaining three years and $96 million, would accomplish as much in one fell swoop.
So the Los Angeles Dodgers leveraged their financial flexibility in a trade with the Red Sox yet again, reportedly acquiring Betts and Price as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Minnesota Twins.
In addition to landing the best player in the trade, the Dodgers also are receiving significant cash considerations from the Red Sox, who are essentially going to split half of Price’s contract, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network:
Dodgers are expected to pay about half of Price’s salary. He has 96M to go over 3.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 5, 2020
There has been plenty of critiques levied against Price, who didn’t perform to expectations in 2019 and underwent surgery last September to remove a cyst in his left wrist. Price finished the season 7-5 with a 4.28 ERA, 3.62 FIP and 1.31 WHIP in 22 starts.
That was noticeable regression from 2018, when Price made 33 starts and went 16-7 with a 3.58 ERA. He also was a star in the postseason and in particular the World Series, pitching in any role against the Dodgers.
Price now looks to help L.A. offset the losses of Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu in free agency, and Kenta Maeda as part of the trade. He joins a rotation that figures to include Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw.
Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, Ross Stripling, Julio Urias and Alex Wood are competing for the final two spots. However, there is speculation Stripling is the MLB starting pitcher the L.A. Angels are receiving along with Joc Pederson in their reported trade with the Dodgers.
Trading Pederson — who is poised for a hearing in the final year of his salary arbitration — helps the Dodgers remain below the luxury tax threshold even with taking on Betts and Price.
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