David Price has not yet decided whether he will step down at the end of the season.
At least not officially yet.
After a USA Today report Sunday morning said the Dodgers veteran plans to retire at the end of the season, Price clarified to reporters that he doesn’t have to make a final decision just yet and wants to focus on making the year to end.
It mirrored what Price had told the Times during an interview at Oracle Park on Saturday afternoon.
“I just want to see how this year develops,” said the left-hander, “and see what happens in October.”
It’s certainly possible, if not likely, that this will be the final year of Price’s stellar 14-year career – which is one of the reasons he’s keen to return from a wrist injury that has kept him away since earlier this month .
“My last few gigs [before getting hurt]”I didn’t throw the ball the way I wanted to,” Price said. “If that’s it, I want to go out strong.”
There are few accolades that Price hasn’t achieved since breaking through to the majors in 2008. He won a Cy Young Award in 2012 and an ERA title this year and 2015. He is a five-time 157-win All-Star. He’s also earned a couple of World Series rings with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and the Dodgers in 2020 (although he was out that season due to the pandemic).
This year, Price is hoping to be part of another title team.
He’s a full-time reliever for the first time in his career and has a 2.58 ERA in 38 appearances, which offers some experienced depth in a bullpen struggling with injuries.
“I just found a routine that works for me,” Price said of the transition. “It’s very different from being a starter in the bullpen. I just found this routine, it took me a little over a year to find it. But once I found it, it started to work, I was able to get out quickly, get back on my feet and feel good.”
Manager Dave Roberts said Price dealt with a few minor complaints over the course of the season.
But it’s only the recent flare-up of his wrist – a body part he’s previously struggled with, including surgery in 2019 – that an injured list stint became necessary.
Price said his recovery went well. He has been feeling good in the two bullpen sessions over the past week and could face live batting again in the coming days.
If all goes well, he should be back on the active squad before the end of the season, although his chances of making the playoffs remain unclear with several other substitutes also expected soon after injuries.
“We have a lot of moving parts, moving parts and a lot of good options,” Roberts said. “So I don’t know how it’s going to fit.”
What would Roberts think if Price, whose contract with the Dodgers expires this offseason, quits after the campaign?
“He’s had a great career,” Roberts said. “The legacy he has as a teammate is top-notch. But I’m sure he’s motivated to get back up and be healthy. He’s worked hard for it and I hope he recovers and can help us.”
Longer term, Price has yet to decide if a 15th MLB season fits into his larger plans.
While rehab at the Dodgers’ Arizona spring training complex early in his IL stint this month, the 37-year-old spent some time at home with his wife and two young children.
“It’s a grind,” he said with a laugh. “When they’re not in school, on those weekends, it’s a lot.”
As Price completed rehab Saturday in San Francisco, his oldest, 5-year-old, played Xavier, in his first coach pitch baseball game at home.
“I’ve got a lot of it on video and stuff,” said Price, who was in right field after completing a bullpen session. “But …”
His voice fell silent.
Should he decide to retire this winter, Price has made a point of enjoying the little things more this season.
“I try to have as much fun as possible and enjoy being with the boys,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always loved. I love the game of baseball but even more I love being in the clubhouse, I love being on the plane or on the bus. That’s what I would miss the most, not playing anymore.”
Until then, though, he’s hoping for at least one more chance to get back on a big league hill – and be part of a post-season run in October.
“I want to throw like baseball again [earlier in the year]help this team in the last two or three weeks and see what happens in October,” he said.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-09-18/dodgers-giants-recap-david-price-contemplating-retirement Dodgers’ David Price isn’t quite ready to say he’s retiring after season