According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Boston Red Sox are “unlikely” to trade superstar outfielder Mookie Betts, and will instead opt to trade high-salary starting pitchers, namely David Price and/or Nathan Eovaldi.
The former has three more years and $96 million owed to him and, despite the postseason success of 2018, saw his value drop, as he only pitched 107.1 innings over 22 starts in 2019.
With that being said, he’s still one of the upper-echelon pitchers in baseball when he’s healthy, even with the drop in velocity over the years. There are going to be teams out there that would love to acquire his services, even with the steep price tag financially speaking.
However, this begs the question: What teams would be interested in acquiring the 34-year-old?
As a matter of fact, there are a few out there that could hold interest.
1. Texas Rangers
There have already been reports that the Rangers were interested in the Red Sox ‘high-salary’ starting pitching. While Sale may have been their first choice, David Price could bring them another piece with him to sweeten the pot.
Whether that be a prospect or a major-league-level player like Andrew Benintendi, the Rangers would certainly be getting more in return than just the 34-year-old left-hander.
The Rangers’ rotation posted a 5.37 ERA as a whole last season, and their peripherals aren’t exactly encouraging either. Acquiring Benintendi might be enough for them to pull the trigger on a deal that would absorb a decent amount of Price’s salary.
2. Chicago White Sox
This is more of a hunch, as well as reading the room. The Chicago White Sox have been doing their best to add proven star talent to complement their young core of Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.
However, they’ve missed out on Cole Hamels and Zack Wheeler already this winter, and there aren’t many game-changing arms available in free agency that they’d be realistic destinations for. Thus making them more apt to make a trade than sign somebody.
The White Sox rotation already appears to have four or five guys they like, most notably Carlos Rodon, Dylan Cease, and Giolito. They do still have Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez who have shown flashes of brilliance in their brief time with the team. But they’re still missing that proven arm that could put them over the top in a wide-open AL Central.
They’ve clearly shown money is no object for them, so they might be more willing to eat a large portion of Price’s remaining contract than a team like Texas.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
3. San Diego Padres
Much like the White Sox, San Diego has a foundation in place for their rotation. After trading Eric Lauer to acquire Zach Davies from Milwaukee, they have a rotation featuring Chris Paddack, Joey Lucchesi, Dinelson Lamet, and Garrett Richards.
However, there’s a reason they’re looking to add someone like a Stephen Strasburg to the mix. They want a veteran stud to anchor a young staff.
While Garrett Richards showed promise early in his career, he hasn’t thrown north of 150 innings since 2015. And even though Chris Paddack looks like their future ace, he isn’t ready to do it on his own yet.
That could bode well for the Red Sox, who have a left-hander with Cy Young pedigree and a Hall of Fame track record that is likely available. While San Diego is the least likely to make a move for Price, they’re definitely a team that could be a dark-horse player for the southpaw if Strasburg falls through their fingertips.