In what was certainly the most surprising news coming out of the Dodgers camp on Saturday, lefty pitcher David Price revealed that he would be sitting out the entirety of the shortened 2020 MLB season.
“After considerable thought and discussion with my family and the Dodgers, I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my family’s health for me to not play this season,” Price said via Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
He continued, “I will miss my teammates and will be cheering for them throughout the season and on to a World Series victory. I’m sorry I won’t be playing for you this year, but look forward to representing you next year.”
Price came to the Dodgers from Boston with outfielder Mookie Betts in the biggest blockbuster deal of the winter. Once all the smoke settled on the trade, the Dodgers sent outfielder Alex Verdugo, catching prospect Connor Wong and infield prospect Jeter Downs back to the Red Sox.
The 34-year-old Price was a two-time Cy Young runner-up and was the 2012 American League winner. He was also the runner-up for the World Series MVP when the Red Sox beat the Dodgers in 2018 after their franchise-record 108 regular-season victories.
The 2020 season would have marked Price’s first year pitching in the National League.
Conceivably, many thought that Price would slide into the 2020 Los Angeles rotation somewhere between Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Alex Wood. While the absence of Price will certainly be felt, it will not be a huge blow, considering that Ross Stripling, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, or Jimmy Nelson could theoretically slide into Price’s vacancy with relative ease.
Bill Plunkett of the OC Register indicated that Price has two children under the age of four. Plunkett further explained that Price is not believed to be in a high-risk category for exposure to COVID-19. If that is true, Price’s decision not to play means he will forfeit his 2020 salary, potentially about $11.85 million if MLB is able to play a 60-game regular season as planned.
The Dodgers released an official statement to the media on Saturday saying, “The Dodgers fully support David’s decision to sit out the 2020 season. We have been in constant contact with David and we understand how much this deliberation weighed on him and his family. We know he’ll be rooting hard for the club every day and look forward to having him back with us in 2021.”
After the 2020 season, Price still has two additional years remaining on his contract.