When the Boston Red Sox first signed David Price, many Red Sox fans (including myself) were on board. Sure, it cost a truck load of money, but after all it’s the Boston Red Sox they can afford to spend the money it takes to land an ace and not give up the farm. Boston fans were willing to look past Price’s postseason struggles, small mentality when it comes to criticism and the media and welcome the former Cy Young Award winner with open arms. At first, all was fine and dandy, but then things took a turn for the worst that no one could have predicted.
The latest came when Price went off on Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersly on a team flight, which you’ve all heard by now. The problem with Price isn’t the attack on Eck per-say, the problem is he’s leading the Red Sox down a road that has seen them since lose ground in the division and look overall lifeless. This team has no fight, no sense of urgency and lacks total accountability and leadership. The team is also extremely sensitive setting up sneak attacks on members of the media and it’s all because Price has become the voice of reason for his teammates, and has totally poisoned the clubhouse.
Despite what many would think with turmoil such as this, Price has pitched well for the most part. After a rough start last season, Price still went 17-9 tossing over 223 innings with a 3.99 ERA before eventually losing another playoff game as Boston got swept by Cleveland in the ALDS, but that’s neither here nor there. Price missed a chunk of this season with an elbow injury, but came on of late and really hit his stride right before the details of the interaction on the team flight were released.
Now, Price scheduled to make his first start since the incident at home is conveniently hitting the disabled list with “elbow discomfort.” The team is scuffling holding just a half game lead over the Yankees, with the Rays not far behind and still making trades to make a run at the division as well. It’s time for Dave Dombrowski to send a message to this team and shake the roster to its core.
We all know David Price is going to opt out after next season, and he will get the same amount of money if not more because despite the turmoil with the media and Boston fans, he’s still getting results on the mound in the regular season. Why not save yourself the trouble of losing him for nothing and save this season by dealing Price now as long as the elbow concerns aren’t legitimate.
Here’s the trade scenario: David Price to the St. Louis Cardinals. If you’ll recall, Price was on his way to St. Louis as a free agent before Boston outbid the red birds by nearly $30 million. Now, the Cardinals have gotten hot of late but are still looking to perhaps sell off some pieces in hopes to get back to contention for next season. The Cardinals would no doubt be the most ideal landing spot for Price if he did opt out, pitching in the National League in the Midwest with a historic franchise that’s always competing. It makes all the sense in the world. Oh yeah, and the Cardinals also have a very laid back fanbase and same with the media, so Price would love pitching at Busch Stadium.
What would the Red Sox receive for Price? The Cardinals have already been rumored to be shopping reliever Trevor Rosenthal. The hard-throwing former closer has worked through some early season struggles and has hit his stride and would provide Boston with the much needed bullpen help down the stretch.
Boston would also want a major league starter back in any trade so that’s where Lance Lynn comes in. St. Louis has been shopping the veteran right-hander and the groundballer would be a welcomed site to the Red Sox desperate for another leader and winner in the clubhouse. Lynn is 8-6 with a 3.21 ERA this year in the final year of his contract with St. Louis.
Another possibility is Boston asks for the younger Michael Wacha. The 26-year-old Wacha offers much more upside and is under team control through the 2019 season. Wacha is 7-4 with a 3.93 ERA this season and has also rebounded from a shaky start this season. The righty broke onto the scene in 2013 where he would pitch against Boston in the World Series. He has battled injuries through his time in the big leagues, but when healthy would prove to be a tremendous addition to the Red Sox rotation over the next few years.
There you have it. My solution is to trade David Price and the entirety of his contract to the St. Louis Cardinals. Get rid of the problem in the clubhouse, bolster the bullpen for the stretch run this season and add a capable starter who could can actually win a playoff game in either Wacha or Lynn.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank