The Los Angeles Dodgers just made the biggest move of the offseason for the second consecutive winter. After trading for Mookie Betts in 2020, the Dodgers signed 2020 National League Cy Young Trevor Bauer one year and one day later.
Bauer’s deal is for three seasons with opt-outs after each year. The total value of the contract is $105 million, although it is front-loaded with a $40 million salary in 2021 and a $45 million salary in 2022.
The Dodgers now find themselves above the Competitive Balance Tax, a line that Andrew Friedman has been careful of staying under before. With Justin Turner still unsigned and the need for a right-handed bat still prominent, the Dodgers may look to pull off the ‘ol salary dump trade.
If so, one of the prime candidates to be traded is David Price.
I am as excited as the next person to see how good Price could be in Los Angeles, but the Dodgers are paying $16 million of his $32 million salary. Price is still talented, though, and with the Red Sox covering that nice salary chunk, the Dodgers could look to flip Price to a team that needs starting pitching, taking advantage of their clear surplus.
A trade would look something like Price and a backend top-30 prospect (someone such as Omar Estevez) for a player to be named later. The real acquisition is the salary relief.
So who should be calling the Los Angeles Dodgers?
4. Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Dodgers nearly traded a pitcher to Anaheim last offseason.
After the Mookie Betts trade one year ago, it was reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers would be trading Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling to the Los Angeles Angels for Luis Rengifo. There were prospects rumored to be in the mix, but nothing was made official.
That trade fell apart after the Betts trade was delayed due to Brusdar Graterol’s physical with Boston. It ended up working out for the best, though. Graterol was great for LA, Pederson stayed with the Dodgers, and Stripling was flipped at midseason for a decent prospect.
The Angels missed out on Stripling last time, but could still use pitching help, and is clearly willing to deal with their “cross-town” rivals. The team has added Alex Cobb and Jose Quintana this offseason, but I would not call either move a home run. Price would easily be the best addition of the group…and would probably be the best pitcher in Anaheim in 2021.
The Angels have shown no hesitation to spend in the past, and a two-year rental in Price is something that they should absolutely be interested in, especially considering they won’t have to really give up anything in return.
They were heavily rumored to grab Price last offseason when Boston was shopping him. Why not now?