Are the Red Sox going to trade David Price?
No way. Not possible. Right?
It’s been gnawing at me since Dan Shaughnessy’s article detailing Price’s blow-up with Dennis Eckersley came out over the weekend.
Why now? Who in the organization would’ve talked?
And then it struck me like a lightning bolt.
Maybe this is the good old Boston Personality Smear.
The pencil the club tends to use to sketch an outline of a clubhouse problem.
The root of all its evils.
And it’s becoming unsettlingly frequent, it would seem, when Boston decides to move an otherwise popular or valuable piece of the organization.
Or how Terry Francona was dragged through the mud before a “mutual” parting of ways. Francona, of course, just managed the Indians to an AL pennant and appears in position to contend again.
As Gordon Edes wrote for ESPN at the time of Francona’s departure, no one escapes Boston with their rep intact.
Not Manny. Not Tito. Not Pedro, or Johnny Damon, or Mo Vaughan or Roger Clemens.
Not David Price?
Shaughnessy’s piece was shocking, and uncomfortable.
It certainly didn’t reflect well on Price.
Enough so to where I began to wonder if there was a deeper motive.
Now, Price hasn’t done much to endear himself to Red Sox Nation.
He’s been inconsistent on the mound, and somewhat volatile off of it — at least, it would seem, with the media.
But something about the timing of the story didn’t sit right with me — with a week left before the trade deadline.
Shaughnessy outright wrote that neither Price or Eckersley commented. Certainly none of the other players commented. The coaching staff has seemed hedged in about the whole thing.
Was it at all possible the details were leaked from higher up the chain?
That, perhaps, with a dwindling market for much-needed bats, the organization is trying to lay the groundwork to send Price packing for a big name bat and a serviceable starting pitcher?
Remember, Dave Dombrowski has played this card before, moving Price for a bundle of valuable pieces — though, admittedly, not while in the hunt for a division title.
Boston can get on base. They’ve had little trouble this season with that aspect — but in David Ortiz‘s absence they’ve struggled bringing the runners around (only 15 percent of the club’s baserunners have scored this year, and they’re tied for 18th in the major leagues in run scored).
With Rafael Devers making his big league debut tonight, they don’t have the prospects left in the system to afford any worthy big bat, though.
Such a bat would likely carry a hefty salary as well, which causes luxury tax problems for the Red Sox.
Price, though, could reap a considerable return while also taking a considerable chunk of salary off Boston’s books.
And the team knows him. Has a full scouting book on him. They’d be able to pick him apart during a potential postseason matchup — where he’s already struggled mightily during his career.
The potential suitors are there — the Dodgers, for example, have a surplus of bats (Justin Turner??) and a sudden need for a big name starter as Clayton Kershaw has once again run into injury trouble.
It’s an outside-of-the-box idea. A borderline crazy idea.
But that’s the type of move Dombrowski has built a career on.
The type of move that would be suddenly much more palatable if the fan base had recently been stirred up …