The Boston Red Sox have been bitten by the injury bug so far in spring training.
Boston entered camp with seven capable pitchers vying for the five starting rotation spots Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock, Brayan Bello, and James Paxton.
The seeming surplus in starting pitching has led many to speculate who would be moved to the bullpen or whether Boston would consider a six-man rotation.
Those questions have been put to rest for the near future as Bello, Whitlock, and Paxton all have suffered various setbacks already in spring training.
While none of the trio has suffered any serious injuries, all three may not be ready to go on Opening Day on March 30.
Boston could opt for an in-house option like Kutter Crawford to help fill the starting rotation hole until any of the trio are ready to go, but if it opted for an outside option the best available may be a reunion with five-time All-Star David Price.
The 37-year-old has spent the last three years with the Dodgers after being dealt by Boston with Mookie Betts to Los Angeles in exchange for a package centered around Alex Verdugo.
Price signed with Boston as a free agent ahead of the 2016 campaign and although he clashed at points with Red Sox Nation, he was a productive hurler nonetheless and helped propel Boston to its best season in team history in 2018 along with a World Series title.
Price isn’t a spring chicken any longer. He’s not a perennial Cy Young Award candidate any longer, but he did impress in 2022. The left-handed hurler came out of the bullpen for Los Angeles and compiled a 2.45 ERA in 40 appearances.
While a move may be unlikely, it could make sense for the Red Sox. He didn’t start in 2022 but could return to form rather easily or serve as a bullpen opener for Boston.
The Red Sox currently have two left-handed hurlers in Joely Rodriguez and Richard Bleier expected to be in the team’s bullpen and adding another to the mix couldn’t hurt.
Price showed in 2022 that he still has some gas in the tank and can help an MLB team. At this point in his career, a deal certainly wouldn’t cost Boston much.
A deal is unlikely unless one of the injured starters misses an extended period, but it couldn’t hurt.
Boston’s depth already is being tested and if it wants to add even more, it should look no further than Price.