I don’t think anyone seriously thought that David Price was going to opt-out of his contract and leave the Red Sox. The possibility existed, however, at least until a few minutes ago. That’s when Price told reporters assembled for the Sox’ World Series parade that he isn’t going anywhere.
Price is still owed $127 million for the next four years on the seven-year, $217 million deal he signed before the 2016 season. The remaining amount breaks down to an average of $31.75 million a season. Despite Price’s playoff performance and solid regular season play, no one was going to pay him that kind of money if he opted for free agency. And, for that matter, no one was going to give him more than $127 million over a longer term than four years at this point either.
Until recently there was a chance that Price making that kind of money in his age 33-36 seasons might’ve led to a lot of stress and heat in Boston, but now that he’s a World Series hero, I presume he’ll be cut a lot more slack by the often hostile media and fan base.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.