David Price's latest left elbow woes come at an interesting time. With three days remaining until Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Red Sox can now go out and deal for a top starting pitcher if they so choose.But according to a source, that's not in the cards for Boston.The Red
David Price's latest left elbow woes come at an interesting time. With three days remaining until Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Red Sox can now go out and deal for a top starting pitcher if they so choose.
But according to a source, that's not in the cards for Boston.
The Red Sox are satisfied with their rotation, the source said, and have the belief that Price's latest issue, which sent him to the 10-day disabled list on Friday, isn't as serious as the one that cost him nearly two months at the start of the season.
• MLB Buzz: Trade talk, deals and rumors
Chris Sale is firmly implanted as Boston's ace, while a rotation without Price includes Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, Thomas Pomeranz and presumably either Christopher Johnson or Doug Fister.
"I don't think [Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave] Dombrowski will go after [Yu] Darvish or [Sonny] Gray," the source said. "I'm not even sure he has enough top prospects left to get either of them, anyway."
Things could change based on Price's MRI results, which the Red Sox are expected to reveal sometime Friday afternoon.
One intriguing possibility is a trade for Detroit's Justin Verlander, a player with whom Dombrowski is not only familiar with, but has had a very close relationship. Dombrowski was the Tigers' GM when Detroit drafted Verlander in 2004, later signing him to contract extensions worth $80 million and $180 million.
The Tigers have been actively shopping Verlander, who has two more years and $56 million remaining on his deal. The Red Sox have about $16 million coming off the books this offseason with Chris Young, Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez headed for free agency, so if Detroit is willing to include some money in a deal, Boston is a team that could absorb the bulk of Verlander's salary.
Would the Tigers pay part of the freight for their longtime ace to go pitch for their former GM? According to a source, Dombrowski's relationship with Chris Ilitch was good at the end of his time with the club, leaving that possibility open.
Given his hefty contract, it's also likely that Verlander would pass through waivers in August, making him a potential trade target next month if Price's elbow continues to be a problem.
Having already traded Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech to the White Sox in last December's Sale deal, the top of the Red Sox's prospect list is thin beyond third baseman Rafael Devers and left-hander Jay Groome, the only two Boston prospects in MLB Pipeline's latest Top 100.
Given Boston's current third-base situation, it seems highly unlikely that Devers would be moved. Groome's makeup and maturity has been in question, though it seems doubtful that a package led by the southpaw would be able to land the Red Sox a top pitcher regardless of those issues.
If the Red Sox don't pursue the top starters, Dombrowski could try to acquire Lance Lynn from the Cardinals or make a smaller deal for one of the other available pitchers such as Francisco Liriano, Marco Estrada, Jeremy Hellickson, Jhoulys Chacin or Jaime Garcia.
Mark Feinsand, executive reporter for MLB.com, has covered the Yankees and MLB since 2001 for the New York Daily News and MLB.com.