The David Price soap opera in Boston has taken another turn. Just a few days after news of his confrontation with Hall of Famer and Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley was made public, multiple reports indicate that Price's forearm/elbow injury appears to have resurfaced. Sure enough, the Red Sox have placed him on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation.
Price, 31, didn't make his first start until May 29 this season, as he started the year on the DL due to an injury in his elbow/forearm area. Many times, injuries in this area are a precursor to a torn ulnar-collateral ligament, which generally needs Tommy John surgery. Price himself did refer to the injury at least once as a "torn elbow," so this seems pretty problematic.
Price had been throwing the ball very well until last time out. In seven starts from June 13-July 16, Price was 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA. In his last start, though, Price allowed six runs (five earned runs) on seven hits and three walks in five innings.
The fallout here is significant, to say the least.
First off, the Red Sox are in first place and are losing their second starter. Given that the trade deadline isn't until Monday, perhaps Price's injury now compels the Red Sox to make a bigger move than they previously planned on doing so. Would club president Dave Dombrowski go for a reunion with his former Tigers ace Justin Verlander? Would they jump into the Sonny Gray sweepstakes? Yu Darvish has the Red Sox on his no-trade list, but they could negotiate. Or maybe they turn to a lesser name like now-available Dan Straily.
Further, if Price ends up needing Tommy John surgery, he'll miss the rest of this season and nearly all of next season. He's in the second year of a seven-year, $217 million deal. At the time he signed the deal, it didn't sound like an awful contract and there is an opt-out clause after 2018. Coming off Tommy John surgery, he surely wouldn't opt out and the Red Sox would then be on the hook for $30+ million a year through 2020 as Price gets up into his mid-30s after having undergone the major procedure.
Stay tuned as to the severity of the injury, but the Red Sox might not be able to wait before making a move. Consider this developing.