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David Price may retire after 2022

SAN FRANCISCO — Dodgers pitcher David Price may retire after the 2022 season — but he hasn’t decided yet.

“It’s just time,” Price told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale in a Sunday report. “Everything on my body hurts.”

News of Price’s proposed retirement began circulating quickly, with the left-hander learning about it through a flurry of texts Sunday morning. Later that afternoon he cleared up the rumours, explaining that his decision was not yet final and that he could extend a varied and fruitful career.

The 37-year-old lefty has played for five teams and was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2007 at No. 1 has spent 14 seasons in the majors since being selected as a draft pick. He compiled a 157-82 record in over 2,100 innings.

Sent to the Dodgers as part of the Mookie Betts trade in February 2020, Price decided to sit out that season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He has a 3.54 ERA through two seasons with Los Angeles, but has thrown just 112 innings in that time, as most of his appearances have come out of the bullpen.

Despite that, Price’s true impact in the Dodgers clubhouse extended far beyond the box score.

“David was great for the guys,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s a great teammate, and he’s got a lot of respect in the room. He’s definitely helped us — not only on the field, which I think he’s done really well, but things that people don’t see and that help young pitchers become major league baseball players.”

Price’s first career win came in the 2008 postseason, as he proved a crucial weapon as a rookie out of the Rays’ bullpen en route to a World Series berth. Price spent his first six full seasons with the Rays, earning four All-Star selections and the franchise’s first Cy Young Award, which he won in 2012 when he went 20-5 with an American League-best 2.56 ERA.

He was dealt to the Tigers at the 2014 trade deadline as part of a three-team deal and led MLB that season with 248 1/3 innings pitched and 271 strikeouts.

Price was on the move again in 2015, a year in which he earned his second ERA title (2.45). He was sent to Toronto in a four-player deal at the deadline and paid immediate dividends by striking out 11 Twins batters in eight innings, the most strikeouts by any pitcher in his Blue Jays debut. He pitched 74 1/3 innings with a 2.30 ERA and 87 strikeouts to lead Toronto to its first postseason appearance since 1993. Price also finished runner-up in AL Cy Young voting that winter.

Price signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season and played a big role in their 2018 World Series championship, allowing just seven runs in 24 1/3 innings across the ALCS and Fall Classic. He pitched seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5 against the Dodgers in the title-clinching victory.

However, in Boston the workhorse began to break down. After making at least 30 starts in a season from 2010-16, Price was limited to 11 starts in 2017 and 22 in 2019 due to left arm injuries.

Price has been limited to just 38 1/3 innings in relief this year and is currently on the injured list with left wrist inflammation. He hopes to return to action before the end of this regular season, which could be a final chapter in his acclaimed career.

“He’s had a great career on the field,” Roberts said. “The legacy he has as a teammate is first-rate. I’m sure he’s motivated to come back and pitch and stay healthy, so he’s worked hard to do that. My hope is that he stays healthy and is able to help us.”

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