The Cincinnati Reds are leaving no stone unturned. The latest Reds rumors involve the front office mentioned in talks for left-handed pitcher David Price.
Cincinnati’s front office has been after several different players throughout this week, but the latest Reds rumors represent the first time we’ve heard the word trade mentioned. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds are among a handful of team talking to the Boston Red Sox about a possible trade involving left-handed pitcher David Price.
Price is an accomplished major league pitcher who was the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Tampa Bay Rays back in the 2007 MLB Draft. Price has five All-Star appearances on his resumé, a Cy Young Award, and World Series title. He also has three-ears and $96M remaining on his current deal.
The Reds have been making efforts to add another starter to their already loaded stable of Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, and Anthony DeSclafani. Cincinnati was in the hunt for free agent right-hander Zack Wheeler before he signed by the Philadelphia. The Reds also attempted to re-sign Tanner Roark, who signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday.
What a trade for Price might look like is anyone’s guess, but unless Joey Votto is included in the deal (highly unlikely), the Red Sox are going to have pay part of Price’s contract or offer up a young, talented player or prospect. Some have suggested Andrew Benintendi, but a source told Feinsand that adding the young outfielder to any deal is unlikely.
So, why are the Red Sox looking to unload David Price? Boston is trying to reduce salary in an effort to get below the Competitive Balance Tax threshold, which sits at $208M. The Red Sox need to shed about $20M in order to accomplish that feat, and eliminating Price’s $32M price tag over the next three years is a step in the right direction.
Interestingly enough, the Cincinnati Reds have ties to thee left-hander in pitching coach Derek Johnson. Johnson was Price’s pitching coach at Vanderbilt, where Price attended college from 2005-2007. Perhaps reuniting Price with his college pitching coach would have the same effect on the 34-year-old as it did on Vanderbilt alum Sonny Gray.
Injuries have slowed Price in three of the past five seasons. During that stretch, however, which includes stops at Detroit, Toronto, and Boston, Price has gone 64-29 with a 3.46 ERA, a 3.47 FIP, and 1.169 WHIP. Price saw his K-rate jump to 28.0%, the highest of his career according to FanGraphs.
The Reds rumors surrounding Price seem a bit farfetched, but if Cincinnati was able to acquire another young piece as part of a trade, it could work. The San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, and Los Angeles Angels are also in talks with Boston. This could get very interesting.