The stars are aligning for the Red Sox to sign top free agent David Price, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes. Price, he says, “is the guy they want,” with the club seemingly prepared to top $200MM to get a deal done. We’ve heard previously that rival executives expect Boston to top the market for Price. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will be under pressure not only to get a deal done, says Abraham, but to do so before the organization begins hawking tickets on December 12th (just after the conclusion of the Winter Meetings).
Here’s more from the AL East:
- The Blue Jays’ signing of J.A. Happ not only takes them out of the market for Price — as unlikely as that match was — but represents a departure for the club, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes. It had been nearly a decade since Toronto gave multiple years to a free agent starter, but under new club president Mark Shapiro the team has already committed both to Happ and Marco Estrada this winter. As Davidi notes, the two contracts are hardly monumental risks in the broader league-wide spending context.
- While average annual values of over $10MM are now unsurprising even for back-of-the-rotation free agent arms, Davidi goes on to explain that those commitments still have a significant impact on the payroll. He estimates that the club is already looking at around $135MM in Opening Day payroll — assuming it tenders contracts to the team’s ten arbitration-eligible players. Toronto would likely not have much added space to work with, then, unless some trimming is performed.
- Meanwhile, Shapiro and the Blue Jays have apparently begun interviewing candidates for the team’s full-time GM position. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports on Twitter that Royals assistant GM Rene Francisco has interviewed for the position, which is being filled by Tony LaCava on an interim basis.
- Recent Red Sox righty Justin Masterson is expected to be at full strength this spring after his shoulder cleanup procedure, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. The 30-year-old has struggled badly over the last two years, but he’s had enough success previously that plenty of clubs will be glad to give him a chance at a resurrection.