Price, who is owed a gaudy $94 million over the next three seasons, is a player the Red Sox will be looking to move if they want to shrink their payroll. Per Spotrac, Boston currently have a payroll over $211 million for the 2020 campaign. Considering how far they were off the New York Yankees and even the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them cut costs.
While clearly overpaid, Price is a fascinating player on the trade market. Plenty of teams need starting pitching, and he’s still a well-above average starter. The question, perhaps, will be how good a young player or prospect the Red Sox need to attach to get a team to take that contract.
These three should all be in the running for Price…
San Francisco Giants
Farhan Zaidi is keen to use the Giants’ financial flexibility to add young players – that method saw them land Will Wilson on Tuesday. Kevin Gausman‘s signing will give them some innings in the rotation, but Zaidi will still be on the lookout for any way he can add a prospect, and taking a contract like Price’s is a perfect way to do that. Price could be handy for the Giants too, as they look to protect their younger arms.
San Francisco are one of the few teams willing to shorten their rebuild by spending through it. Most teams cut salary in this situation. If Price could buy them a prospect – or perhaps a young Major Leaguer like Michael Chavis – it would be a franchise changer.
Minnesota aren’t renowned for spending big, but this might be their time to do just that. They are in the bottom 10 in MLB payroll, and the American League Central is their’s to win again. Linked with starters all winter, Price’s AAV is higher than they may want to pay. With only three years left, however, it doesn’t carry the same long-term risk as a deal for Madison Bumgarner likely would do.
Jake Odorizzi‘s decision to re-sign was a bonus, though beyond Odorizzi and Jose Berrios, the starting staff is a concern. Adding Price would not just be an upgrade, he’d transform their starting pitching. They’re certainly outsiders, though, unless the Red Sox pay a considerable chunk of Price’s remaining salary.
Los Angeles Angels
Having missed out on Gerrit Cole, the Los Angeles Angels are still in dire need of a starting pitcher or two. They sent Zack Cozart to the Giants to free up some financial space. They may want to use that on Anthony Rendon, but that won’t solve the flimsiness of their rotation. Price would slot in nicely alongside Shohei Ohtani at the top of their staff.
With the luxury tax clearly a concern for the Angels, they may want Boston to send some cash to sweeten a potential deal. They aren’t perfect trade partners in that sense. When it comes to teams expecting to compete who need a starter, though, the Angels might be at the top of the queue.