Red Sox

Red Sox and Blue Jays exploring a trade for David Price

It would help the Sox shed payroll and offer the Jays a veteran starter to mesh with their young team.

Red Sox pitcher David Price watches the game from the steps. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The Toronto Blue Jays once again have interest in Red Sox lefthander David Price.

The Blue Jays are talking to the Red Sox about a potential trade for Price, a major league source confirmed, which would help the Sox shed payroll and offer the Jays a veteran starter to mesh with their young team.

The source said the Jays are intrigued at the thought of bringing back Price, who was traded from the Detroit Tigers to Toronto at the deadline in 2015.

Although the Jays have interest, multiple league sources continue to suggest that any conversations involving Price appear to be exploratory rather than advanced.


Price, who signed a seven-year $217 million deal with the Sox prior to the 2016 season, is still owed $96 million. The Red Sox likely will have to take on some of that salary if they trade Price. Unloading Price would give the Sox more payroll flexibility and possibly allow them to retain Mookie Betts, who is projected to make $27 million in arbitration in 2020.

The Red Sox are exploring all avenues as it pertains to remaining competitive while still trying to get under the luxury tax bill. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, see Price as a potentially favorable alternative to free agent Hyun-Jin Ryu, whom they have reportedly been pursuing this offseason.

The Jays have tons of payroll flexibility for next three years before their promising young core becomes arbitration eligible and have noted their ongoing interest in upgrading their rotation. They signed righthander Tanner Roark to a two-year, $24 million deal this month. Roark, 33, went 10-10 with a 4.35 ERA with Cincinnati and Oakland last season.

Price had been known for his durability when he entered the league and tossed 230 innings in 2016 for the Red Sox, but since then the southpaw hasn’t reached the 200-inning mark, dealing with a number of injuries (elbow issues, carpal tunnel).


Last season, Price was shut down in September because of a cyst in his wrist after pitching just 107⅓ innings.


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