Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
When the Los Angeles Dodgers completed their blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox, much the attention naturally went to their acquisition of 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts. However, those within the organization also spoke with plenty of excitement over adding David Price to the rotation.
He was coming off a down season but had undergone a wrist operation that addressed a numbing issue. During an introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium, Price vowed he was fully healthy and looking forward to proving as much on the mound.
The veteran left-hander fought shaky legs in Cactus League debut, but then bounced back with an encouraging performance. However, the wait to see Price pitch for the Dodgers in a truly meaningful game was extended to next year when he opted out of playing the 2020 season.
So Price was home Thursday when the Dodgers hosted the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day, rallying their way to an 8-1 victory. On Friday morning he shared emotions felt while watching the team and revealed he will join the first SportsNet LA broadcast of the season:
Tough watching opening day from the couch last night but fun to watch @Dodgers score 8 when they didn’t even swing it well! Gonna score a lot of runs this year! And D May did not disappoint in his first opening day start!! See y’all tonight on the broadcast! #gododgerblue
— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) July 24, 2020
After this season, Price has two years and $64 million remaining on his contract. His absence has further become an even larger void for the time being as the Dodgers placed Clayton Kershaw on the 10-day injured list due to back stiffness.
Ross Stripling was selected to fill Price’s spot in the Opening Day rotation, and Dustin May started in place of Kershaw on Opening Day. Stripling appears set to spend the season as part of the starting rotation, but it’s unclear if May will continue filling in until Kershaw returns.
The Dodgers released a statement supporting Price in the wake of announcing he would not play this season, and each of his teammates have voiced the same sentiment. Joe Kelly, who was with Price in Boston, had perhaps the strongest message.
“For me, myself, I can’t speak for everybody, but I know in the Dodgers clubhouse, everyone respects D.P.’s decision,” Kelly said earlier this month.
“That’s something that’s probably gone through most guy’s heads, honestly. For myself, knowing I have three kids — two of them are a little over two months — so a decision like that is obviously a personal one. Me knowing D.P. and where he was at, I respect D.P. for his decision. He’s one of my best friends.
“We talk to him, he still keeps in contact. His decision for him was the right decision. We support him, we make him feel like he’s part of the team still. He watches all the games and text us, he was talking about the changeup I threw to Justin Turner, we talk in the team thread. He’s still part of our team. He still is engaging, rooting, supporting, talking baseball.
“That’s one of the cool things about David Price. It could be easier for someone to opt out and isolate themselves, but D.P. is a guy who cares so much about other people that he literally is the first one firing off texts the next day about the game. He’s a good human being.”
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