Price contemplating retirement after '22 season

September 18th, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers pitcher might be retiring after the 2022 season -- but he hasn't quite decided yet. 

"It’s just time," Price told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale in a report on Sunday. "Everything on my body hurts."

News about Price's purported retirement quickly began to circulate, so much so that the left-hander learned about it through a flurry of texts on Sunday morning. He cleared up the rumors later that afternoon, explaining his decision is not yet final and that he may extend what has been a varied and fruitful career.

The 37-year-old lefty has played for five teams and spent 14 seasons in the Majors after being selected by Tampa Bay as the No. 1 overall Draft pick in 2007. He has compiled a 157-82 record over more than 2,100 innings.

Sent to the Dodgers as part of the Mookie Betts trade in February 2020, Price decided to opt out of that season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has a 3.54 ERA through two seasons with Los Angeles, but he has thrown only 112 innings during that time, as most of his appearances have come out of the bullpen.

Despite that, Price's true impact in the Dodgers' clubhouse has extended far beyond the box score.

"David's been great for the guys," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's a great teammate, and he commands a lot of respect in the room. He's certainly helped us out -- not only on the field, which I think he's performed really well, but things that people don't see and helping young pitchers become Major League Baseball players."

Price's first career win came during the 2008 postseason, as he proved to be a crucial weapon as a rookie out of the Rays’ bullpen en route to a World Series berth. Price spent his first six full seasons with the Rays, picking up four All-Star selections and the franchise’s first Cy Young Award, which he won in 2012 when he went 20-5 with an American League-best 2.56 ERA.

He was dealt as part of a three-team deal to the Tigers at the 2014 Trade Deadline and wrapped up that season leading MLB with 248 1/3 innings pitched and 271 strikeouts.

Price was on the move again in 2015, a year in which he earned his second ERA title (2.45). He was sent to Toronto in a four-player deal at the Deadline and paid immediate dividends by striking out 11 Twins batters over eight innings, the most strikeouts by any pitcher in his Blue Jays debut. He went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings after the trade to lead Toronto to its first postseason appearance since 1993. Price also finished as the runner-up in the AL Cy Young voting that winter.

Price signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season and played a big role in their 2018 World Series championship, allowing just seven runs over 24 1/3 innings across the ALCS and Fall Classic. He dealt seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5 against the Dodgers to pick up the win in the title-clinching game.

However, it was in Boston where the workhorse would begin to break down. Price, after making at least 30 starts in all but one season from 2010-16, was limited to 11 starts in 2017 and 22 in 2019 due to multiple left arm injuries.

Price has been limited to just 38 1/3 innings in relief this year and is currently on the injured list due to left wrist inflammation. He's hoping to return to action before this regular season ends for what could be one final chapter in his acclaimed career.

"He's had a great career on the field," Roberts said. "The legacy that he has as being a teammate is first-class. I'm sure he's motivated to get back and pitch and be healthy, so he's worked hard to do that. My hope would be that he would get healthy and be able to help us."