David Price
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Blue Jays mulling reunion with David Price


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.

Happy one-year anniversary of the Bryce Harper signing

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Last night Bill talked about how different this past offseason was than the one before as far as free agents go. This year all the big guys signed well before spring training and, Yasiel Puig aside, there aren’t many significant players left out on the market. It’s sort of how the hot stove season is supposed to go.

Last year, of course, was crazy. The two biggest free agents — Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — didn’t sign until February. In fact, Harper didn’t officially sign with Philly until March 2. One year ago today, however — February 28, 2019 — was the day the news of the impeding signing broke.

Over at NBC Sports Philly, they put together a video talking to Harper, Scott Boras, Matt Klentak and others who put the massive deal together. It gives you a sense of how the moving parts move in the runup to the biggest contract in baseball history.

It also gives you a sense of how much trouble Harper might’ve had had he gone with the other team who was in the bidding for him at the last minute: the Giants. Specifically, he keeps calling them “San Fran,” and if you know anyone from the Bay Area, you know just how much they hate it when people say “San Fran.” Don’t do that, folks.

Anyway here — apart from the tendering of a $330 million contract — is how Bryce Harper became a Phillie: