2022 is the final season of the seven-year, $217MM free agent deal that David Price signed with the Red Sox in December 2015, and it has been widely expected that the veteran left-hander will hang up his glove once his contract is up. Price all but confirmed as much earlier this week when speaking with Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register, initially telling Plunkett that he did plan to retire at season’s end, before making it more of a “yes and no” answer for family reasons.
“My (two) kids love it so much. That’s the only thing that makes me even think about playing any longer,” Price said. “I always told myself I’d ask my son, ’Do you want daddy to play baseball or do you want daddy to be home all the time?’ I asked him before this year and he said, ‘I want you to be home.’ I said, ’Are you sure?’ He said, ’Yeah.’ Now when I ask him, he says, ’No, I want you to keep playing.’ “
Now in his 14th season, Price has had an outstanding career since being selected by the Rays with the first overall pick of the 2007 draft. The southpaw’s resume includes five All-Star appearances, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, and a World Series championship with the Red Sox in 2018. Price was a member of the Dodgers’ roster in 2020, but opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, and thus wasn’t a part of their run to the World Series.
Returning to action in 2021, Price posted a 4.03 ERA over 73 2/3 total innings for Los Angeles, starting 11 of his 39 games. This year, Price has worked exclusively out of the bullpen, a role that Price is happy to fill even though the Dodgers have had some injury-related vacancies open up in the rotation.
While Price said he would start again if the Dodgers asked, the left-hander is happy to see “these young guys getting their starts. I like them being able to get their numbers up so they can go to arbitration and they can get their money. I got mine….I love watching Mitch White pitch. He’s got good stuff. That’s what he needs. He needs to pitch in the big leagues, not pitch in Triple-A. That’s a waste of time.”
Though he missed close to a month of action due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Price has pitched well as a reliever in 2022, posting a 3.20 ERA, 28.9% strikeout rate, and 4.8% walk rate over 19 2/3 innings. The Dodgers haven’t used Price for many important late-game situations, but he has provided some useful innings for a bullpen that is still missing several key arms on the injured list. Certainly, capturing another Series ring would be a great way for Price to walk off into the sunset, if he indeed decided to retire once the season is done.