Speaking to the Boston Globe Price said, “If we don’t start playing better, J.D. Martinez, Mookie Betts, maybe myself, we could get traded. We’re, what, 30th in minor league systems?”
The Red Sox farm system is ranked 30th in the league, per Baseball America. The team also only has one prospect on MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects list.
Price added, “We’re dead last. We don’t play better, Mookie Betts will be traded, J.D. Martinez will be traded. It will be tough for a while here.”
Could those players actually be traded?
Martinez has an opt-out clause built into his contract that takes effect after this season. Price noted that the team could trade Martinez before he becomes a free agent.
Betts has one final year of arbitration remaining on his contract and will become a free agent following the 2020 season. Earlier in March, Betts said he wanted to be valued properly.
“It’s going to be talked about,” Price said of Betts’ contract situation. “It’s going to be written about. Guys are going to be asked about it. We all understand that.”
For Price, things become a bit more complicated. He still has three years remaining on his seven-year deal and from 2020-2022 is set to earn $32 million annually. Finding a team to take on Price’s salary in his age-33 through age-36 seasons might prove to be difficult.
Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski pushes back
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski pushed back against Price’s earlier comments on WEEI radio.
“No, we’re not in a position where [we’re] blowing things up at this point,” Dombrowski said. “But we do have to play better, there’s no question about that. So I think his point was probably to people that ‘Hey you just can’t keeping playing this way, things end up happening.’ But we’re a long way away from being in that type of situation.”
The Red Sox still have time to turn things around and play up to their potential, a sentiment Price believes as well.
“We have too much talent in the clubhouse,” Price said. “We’re a lot better than our record is. We’re a lot better than what we played. And I still believe we will play better and our record will flip.
The Red Sox begin a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
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