Its no surprise to anyone that the Red Sox are planning to play at the top of the starting pitching market this offseason, both in trades and free agency. David Price has been seen as the top available arm, along with Zack Greinke and sometimes Johnny Cueto. Each would be a pretty significant upgrade over what the team currently has in its rotation, but there are legitimate risks associated as well. Those risks seem to make the trade market a more desirable upgrade route for the Red Sox, although Dave Dombrowski has strongly alluded to the free agent market as the most likely option to add a starter. This news came following the team’s acquisition of Craig Kimbrel from the Padres, though it wasn’t entirely surprising.
The story has gotten interesting over the past five days, as reports are now pouring in from reputable sources that the Red Sox are prepared to be the highest bidder for Price’s services. Ken Rosenthal made the first public connection on Monday, though that was allegedly more his own opinion than real speculation. But he then followed with a report of a handful of teams who should have the best shot at landing Price, with the Red Sox included as a favorite. Buster Olney followed by reporting his “high expectation” that the Red Sox would outbid the field on Price, and Tom Verducci concurred. There could be some pack mentality going on, based on the obvious fit between team and player, but that is a lot of agreeing from a lot of different sources.
But the biggest domino fell on Wednesday when Peter Gammons reported that his industry sources agree with the speculation. Not to say that Gammons has never been wrong, but he is one of the more plugged-in reporters in the country, so his opinion should carry a good deal of weight. Nothing appears close at the moment, but with so many people saying the same thing it appears that momentum could be building toward an agreement in the near future. Fans will want to stay tuned to the situation, especially as we get closer to the start of the Winter Meetings in December.