Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Blue Jays and Red Sox have discussed a trade involving starter David Price. The two sides aren’t close to an agreement and the Red Sox are considering their options elsewhere, Rosenthal adds.
Price, 34, spent the final two months of the 2015 regular season in Toronto and helped the Jays reach the ALCS against the Royals. The lefty is no longer the pitcher he was then, but the Jays are still seeking additional upgrades to the starting rotation after acquiring Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark.
This past season, Price posted a 4.28 ERA — his highest ERA since 2009 — with 128 strikeouts and 32 walks over 107 1/3 innings. While his strikeout and walk rates are still solid, Price has given up a ton of hard-hit baseballs over the last four years. Per FanGraphs, Price’s career average hard-hit rate is 28.9 percent, but since 2016 it has ranged from 32.2 percent to last year’s 36.9 percent.
Any trade involving Price will hinge on how much of the $96 million remaining on his contract the Red Sox are willing to cover. The Red Sox are concerned with getting below the $208 million competitive balance tax threshold. According to Cot’s Contracts, they’re currently over $226.5 million. Clearing at least $19 million or so of Price’s annual $32 million salary would get them under for the 2020 season.