The Red Sox have reportedly had talks with the Toronto Blue Jays among other clubs about trading left-hander David Price, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
According to Rosenthal, “A deal only will come to fruition if the clubs agree on how much the Red Sox will pay of the $96 million remaining in the final three years of Price’s contract,” and, “Such an agreement is not close at this time.”
The 34-year-old Price spent the final three months of the 2015 season with Toronto as part of their run to the ALCS before signing a then-record-setting seven-year, $217 million deal with Boston that December.
Granted, that trade between the Jays and Detroit Tigers was done with Alex Anthopoulos, the current general manager of the Braves, at the helm for Toronto.
In his brief time north of the border, Price became a fan favorite. Combine that with the fact that the Blue Jays are currently in need of top-of-the-rotation starting pitching, and a reunion between both parties would make sense depending on what the Red Sox got out of it.
As Rosenthal notes, “the Sox are looking at a sliding scale – the more money they include, the better the package they will receive,” in deals for Price or even right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who is owed $51 million over the next three years.
All this comes as chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. continue to work towards the goal set by Sox ownership of getting under the $208 million luxury tax threshold with the idea of trading Mookie Betts serving as a last resort. They seemed to make that much clear at the Winter Meetings earlier this month.
With durability issues surrounding Price headed into his age-34 season, the Red Sox may have to pay up to $36 million of the remaining $96 million remaining on the Tennessee native’s deal, which would essentially turn it into a three-year, $60 million contract.
Two weeks ago, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported that the Angels, Cardinals, Padres, Reds, and White Sox were among the clubs that have been in contact with Boston regarding Price.
At this point in time, the Red Sox trading away Price seems more likely to happen than not. The return Boston gets in any potential deal will be interesting to see.