Dodgers’ David Price shutting down retirement rumors doesn’t change much
Ohhh MAN there’s nothing better than OWNING Bob Nightengale, huh?! Anytime fans or players can do that, it’s just so satisfying, right? Yes! If you’re living in 2015. Now, it’s just your classic joke that’s been beaten into the ground with the latest situation featuring Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price.
Nightengale reported over the weekend that Price is planning on retiring after the 2022 season, which marks the final year of his massive contract he signed with the Boston Red Sox almost seven years ago.
But hours later, Price told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic that he hasn’t finalized any decision on retirement just yet, even though he told Nightengale, “it’s just time” and that “everything on my body hurts.” So what is it? And why are we switching gears literally — we kid you not — three hours later?
In the end, it doesn’t matter, because Price more than likely won’t be back with the Dodgers after this season since he’s been far more of a headache than anything else ever since arriving from Boston in the Mookie Betts trade.
Price, currently on the injured list (which has characterized five of the last six years of his career), is expected to return soon, but even then, it’s unclear if a nice contribution from him in the postseason would get him another contract in LA should he continue playing.
Whether David Price is retiring or not, it doesn’t matter for the LA Dodgers
Price understandably opted out of the shortened 2020 season due to the pandemic and then returned in 2021, but wasn’t able to effectively build up as a starter. That resulted in a bizarre hybrid role that saw him start 11 games and come in for relief in another 28. He finished with a 4.03 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 73.2 innings, contributing nothing in the postseason.
This year’s been a bit of a different story, but it got off to a troubling start. Price, once again in spring training, was not built up to start games despite getting 39 contests under his belt in 2021 with an entire offseason to work on his stamina. That forced the Dodgers to start him in the bullpen, where he’s remained ever since. Luckily, it’s translated to a 2.58 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 1.17 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.
Problem is, 32 of those games have come in low-leverage situations, meaning he hasn’t really done much to solidify his role on the 2023 Opening Day roster or even the postseason roster.
Mixed signals on his retirement aside, Price’s inability to perform as a starting pitcher, which he was acquired to do (for $16 million per year!), might’ve already made up the Dodgers’ mind.
They’ve now paid $32 million for 112 innings of work in a role they hadn’t planned on accommodating for the left-hander. Laugh at Nightengale all you want, but truth be told, this has pretty much been an “everything on my body hurts” situation for all involved.