Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Chicago White Sox are talking to the Boston Red Sox about a trade that would send David Price to the south side. Should the White Sox be looking at doing this?
Price, 34, is coming off an injury-plagued 2019 season in which he only made 22 starts, missing almost a month due to a left wrist TFCC cyst.
When he was healthy, the left-hander compiled a 4.28 ERA, 3.62 FIP, and 1.314 WHIP with 10.7 K/9 as compared to 2.7 BB/9.
With the Boston Red Sox looking to get under the luxury tax, the team has explored trading Price and his salary with the White Sox showing interest in such a deal.
Any team that acquires him will have to be comfortable with the fact Price is set to make $32 million each of the next three seasons as detailed on Spotrac.
For someone who will be 37 by the end of that deal, any team taking him on is taking a major gamble.
His health and talent could get significantly worse by then and $32 million is a lot of money to pay for any player.
If his quality falls down to a fifth starter by the end of the contract, he’ll be absurdly overpaid and his deal could become a burden on the franchise at a time when Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, and other young players on the team could become expensive.
One reason to be encouraged about Price is that his strikeout rate was the highest of his career, which suggests he’s not skipping a beat in his ability to get hitters out despite his advancing age.
Now, decline sometimes happens rapidly and he could easily be someone to watch from season-to-season in that regard. But at this moment, there are not many warning signs of that happening soon other than maybe his injury issues in 2017 (left elbow inflammation) and 2019.
With all of this being considered, the way the White Sox should approach trade negotiations is that they should give the Red Sox a choice.
They can either chip in significant money in the deal and get a top prospect (not named Luis Robert or Nick Madrigal) or they can have the White Sox pay his contract and not expect top-echelon prospects in return.
If they refuse to work within those parameters, then a deal is simply not worth it for the White Sox as they can simply just turn to the free agent market and sign an arm like Dallas Keuchel who will get less money annually, but might not have the extensive and impressive track record of success that Price has.