Rumors: Twins could relieve Red Sox of a starting pitcher

BOSTON, MA - JULY 14: David Price #10 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on July 14, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JULY 14: David Price #10 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway Park on July 14, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

With continued rumors of the Twins wanting to acquire a big-name starting pitcher, could one of the Red Sox starters get shipped to Minnesota?

MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Minnesota Twins are pursuing a top-arm such as Zack Wheeler or Madison Bumgarner to fill out a rotation that currently consists of Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi. If those efforts fall short, the Boston Red Sox may offer them a contingency plan.

After establishing themselves as one of the best teams in baseball in 2019, the Twins have an obvious goal to upgrade the starting rotation this offseason. They got slaughtered in the ALDS by the New York Yankees and while the rotation wasn’t too shabby, it wouldn’t hurt to upgrade the back-end.

Currently, they have at the top, Berrios, a dominant, ace-like pitcher, and to back him up is the consistent Odorizzi. Filling out the back-end of the rotation with quality starters should be a priority. This is where the Red Sox and Twins may be able to link up for a trade.

The Red Sox are looking to trim payroll and they have three starters on expensive, multi-year contracts. It seems unlikely that Chris Sale would be traded as he still has lots of upside, but Chaim Bloom would seemingly be ecstatic if he could cut David Price or Nathan Eovaldi before the 2020 campaign begins. For the Twins, they have lots of wiggle room on their payroll and wouldn’t have to give up many prospects if they ate a decent portion of a contract they acquire.

The case to trade Price to the Twins

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Trading for Price would add some veteran leadership to their roster (along with Nelson Cruz) and he would provide stability at the back-end of the rotation. Price could preach to the Twins club that struggled in the 2019 postseason how to overcome October failures, as he certainly had to deal with. He also won the World Series in 2018 so he may bring over a winning attitude and mindset in a trade.

The real downfall with acquiring the lefty is that he is making nearly double the AAV ($32 to $17 million) of Eovaldi, he’s four years older and has shown some decline over the past few years. He also had an injury-plagued 2019, now missing major portions of the year in two of the past three seasons.

Price has been nothing but a distraction and excluding 2018, he has not been very effective for the Red Sox. Cutting him would benefit both sides as David hasn’t proven he can handle Boston, and the Red Sox may be able to save lots of money with his contract off the board.

The case to trade Eovaldi to the Twins

If the Twins were able to acquire Eovaldi, he would make a lot less of a dent on their payroll. Eovaldi has a lot of upside as he still has a dominant fastball. The key would be to get him on the field as he only made a dozen starts in the 2019 season. Nitro would also bring over a winning attitude as he was an absolute force in the 2018 postseason for Boston.

Minnesota had a pretty good bullpen in 2019, ranking 10th in MLB. They will not have Sam Dyson next year (no team will as he is undergoing surgery that will surely sideline him for 2020) and if Nathan were to struggle again in 2020, the Twins could transfer him to the bullpen. Unlike Price, Eovaldi could be a force out of the bullpen as he still possesses an electric pitch arsenal.

Eovaldi didn’t replicate his 2018 postseason run in 2019 and was limited by injuries. The marriage between him and the Red Sox may not happen and he could get traded somewhere else so he has a chance to unlock his full potential. Like Price, getting rid of Eovaldi’s salary may also greatly benefit the team.


At the end of the day, the Twins have the payroll flexibility to take on the contract of one of Boston’s starters. If the Red Sox dealt a starter to Minnesota, this would solidify their rotation and allow them to close the gap with Cleveland’s disgustingly good rotation.

If a trade were to occur, the most likely candidate to be moved would have to be Price because he would provide a veteran leadership in the rotation. When Nelson Cruz came over in the 2019 season, the lineup took off, erupting for the most home runs in single-season history by any team. Who knows, if Price were added to the rotation, could they become one of the best starting rotations ever?

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The Red Sox would be able to trim payroll by cutting one of these starters and would make a move that heavily benefits them long-term. If they acquired a medium prospect and shed 2/3 of Price’s contract or all of Eovaldi’s, that will save $15-$25 million for the next three years.