Boston Red Sox

May 2, 2019; Chicago, IL: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price prepares to pitch during the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt McCarthy,

The odds of a David Price trade appear to be increasing as the MLB Winter Meetings play out.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweeted Tuesday that “multiple teams” view Price as a potential trade target. The report comes as the pitching market around baseball develops rapidly and as the Red Sox look to cut payroll in advance of 2020.

If the Red Sox want to move Price, the stars may have aligned as the cost for pitchers is skyrocketing to heights never seen before. Price’s $96 million in commitments is a far cry from what the Yankees paid for Gerrit Cole (a record $324 million deal), and is significantly less than the seven-year, $245 million contract Stephen Strasburg signed with the Nationals. With Madison Bumgarner reportedly looking for somewhere north of $100 million and Zach Wheeler already locked up in Philadelphia for $118 million, Price could be viewed as a much more viable option for pitching-needy teams than before.

How much of Price’s contract a potential trade partner might ask the Red Sox to eat will likely be critical in their decision to move the lefty.

Passan is also not the first insider to suggest new Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom could include another player in the deal to entice another team to take Price, perhaps in return for that team taking on a large portion of Price’s contract. Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that Andrew Benintendi could be the player the Red Sox would attach in a deal involving Price or Nathan Eovaldi, who has three years and $51 million remaining on his contract.

Price’s 2019 season was shut down early due to a cyst on his wrist. He was limited to 22 starts and turned in a 7-5 record with a 4.28 ERA. The lefty had surgery in September and all indications point to him being ready for the 2020 season.

The MLB Winter Meetings run through Thursday.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.