Can the Dodgers count on David Price for 2021? Well, maybe not.
Yes, the Dodgers would absolutely pull the trigger on the Mookie Betts trade daily for the next 13 years. Next question.
But when the Dodgers obtained Betts and agreed to take on the contract of David Price in a salary dump with the Boston Red Sox this past winter, they never expected he’d miss the 2020 season and potentially 2021 without a personal injury to his name.
Price became one of the highest-profile opt outs in July of 2020, citing familiar concerns that ended up being entirely prescient about what exactly it would take to participate in a season unlike any other. However, we’d penciled him in for 2021 following a championship season that featured an incomplete rotation.
For what it’s worth, Price himself seemed very ready for 2020 to end on his personal Twitter account the other day, but showed excitement for 2021.
Whenever he does join the team, he’ll be entering with the lowest expectations that he’s likely ever faced. In Tampa, he was the wunderkind responsible for the organization’s first taste of success. In Detroit and Toronto, he was a hired gun set to launch a contender to the next level mid-season. In Boston, of course, he was a pitching albatross that represented front office rot…until he wasn’t.
In Los Angeles, though? Price will eventually slot right into the middle of the rotation, meant to take pressure off his partners, but with no assertion that he must be an ace. And plus, this team is the defending champion. That burden has been completely removed.
Entering his age-35 season, Price’s most recent work is still his 7-5, 4.28 ERA ’19 season in Boston prior to an injury shutdown.
Hopefully, we see more of Price in our uniform soon, but only when he’s ready.
Until then, all the lingering memories we have of his time in Los Angeles are replete with a construction helmet or a Red Sox uniform.