When the Boston Red Sox traded outfielder Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in early February, part of the plan was to rid themselves of the remaining $96 million that was left on starting pitcher David Price’s contract. The only way to do that was to have Price be a ‘throw-in’ in the deal.
With the Dodgers reluctant to take back all of Price’s high-priced contract, the sides negotiated a deal where the Sox would pay half of Price’s salary and simply try to forget the nightmare that was a seven-year, $217 million deal. The Dodgers may now reap the benefits of that ‘throw-in.’
Red Sox and Dodgers trade
The deal was finalized in early February with the Red Sox sending the Dodgers Betts and Price and getting back three prospects in Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong. With one year remaining on Betts’ contract and unsure if the 2018 American League MVP would resign with the team, the Sox proactively made the deal to make sure they got something in return.
By shedding Betts’ contract and half of Price’s, the Sox were also able to dip below the luxury tax. That may, however, prove to be a small price to pay when they gave up their best all-around player and arguably their best pitcher to build for the future.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, bolstered an already potent offense by adding Betts and strengthened a strong starting pitching staff with Price. Price may not be a $31 million-a-year pitcher as the Red Sox once thought he was, but he certainly has the credentials of a player making $16 million per season and that’s all the Dodgers are on the hook for.
David Price can still bring it
While Price’s time in Boston was tolerable at best, he played a major role in Boston’s 2018 World Series title with seven strong innings in the series-clinching, Game 5 victory over the Dodgers. He also was the winning pitcher in Game 2.
In four years with the Red Sox, Price never had a losing season and compiled a record of 46-24. In his first season with the team, Price led the majors with 230 innings pitched and finished with a 17-9 record.
Even with the Red Sox, he’s shown he’s a better-than-average arm, but his honeymoon in Boston was short-lived.
Unhappy Red Sox fans
Prior to the World Series title, Price and the Red Sox fans had a sour relationship. Price said in 2016 he was the victim of racist comments at Fenway Park.
Over the years, fans seemed to grow impatient with the man who signed a $217 million deal who was good but didn’t reach Boston’s lofty expectations.
Now Red Sox fans, who also saw their season ticket prices rise this season, have been up in arms over a trade that has the look of being made strictly for financial reasons, prompting team owner to explain via a Twitter post.
Not only did the Red Sox lose Betts and Price, but they are still paying half of Price’s salary for the next three years.