David Price Open to Any Role with Dodgers After Trevor Bauer Signing

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher David Price throws a mock pitch as pitchers take infield drills during a spring training baseball practice Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series during the shortened 2020 campaign even though David Price opted out.

While the southpaw is one of the best pitchers of his generation, he also wanted to make it clear to Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman that he was willing to take whatever role was needed of him in 2021 to ensure that success continues.

Alden Gonzalez of ESPN reported Price reached out to Friedman to reveal as much, particularly when Los Angeles was pursuing eventual signee Trevor Bauer as a possible addition.

"Whatever makes the 2021 Dodgers better, I'm all for it," Price said.

Los Angeles won that championship with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin making most of the starts and could very well rely on that combination of pitchers again in 2021.

Throw in Bauer, who won the 2020 National League Cy Young as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, and Price, a five-time All-Star and the 2012 American League Cy Young winner, and there appears to be a logjam if the strategy is to use a traditional five-man rotation.

Gonzalez noted the plan has yet to be publicly finalized, although they could all see time in April as the Dodgers look to account for additional innings with the season going from 60 games in 2020 to the usual 162 in 2021.

Manager Dave Roberts could use more than one starter in a single game, especially early in the season, to preserve some of the arms for the stretch run and playoffs.

Price's comments seem to indicate he would be fine with that, even if it means coming out of the bullpen at times.

The Dodgers may need all of those pitchers to reach their potential if they are going to hold off the San Diego Padres in the National League West. San Diego made the playoffs in 2020 for the first time since 2006 and added four-time All-Star Yu Darvish and 2018 American League Cy Young winner Blake Snell this offseason.

They should pose quite the challenge for Los Angeles no matter what role Price and the others pitchers assume.