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Rival GMs expect the Red Sox to sign free agent ace David Price

The Red Sox seem to have locked in on their preferred target, if everyone else is to be believed.

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Will the Red Sox finally spend money on an ace instead of just offense? It's felt like they just might do that ever since Dave Dombrowski was hired as the President of Baseball Operations in mid-August. It's not just fans and media speculating, either: Peter Gammons reports that six different general managers told him as much over the last week.

One of the GMs basically assumes Dombrowski went to Boston in part because he would have the ability to sign Price -- a pitcher he traded for in 2014 at a time when no one else was willing to take on his eventual arbitration price for 2015. Brad Ausmus and Joe Maddon have nothing but praise for Price and his work as a teammate, per Gammons, and for a staff that is lacking both an ace and a pitcher to lead the staff in the clubhouse -- look no further than last spring's goofy t-shirts about who the ace is for a reminder of that -- that is the kind of tiebreaker that separates him from the rest of the wonderful free agent class.

As for how much the Sox would offer Price? One GM who spoke to Gammons stated that he expects Boston to "go $30-40 million above anyone else." Hopefully that won't be necessary -- the Sox don't need anyone on a Robinson Cano-sized deal unless we're in the future and Bryce Harper is a free agent. And it's worth remembering that this, like the overall expectations, are simply educated guesses from rival general managers, and not from within Boston's front office. It does maybe give us a hint of how things could go with Price, though, in that other teams are already starting to think that the Sox will go to just about any length to get Dombrowski's guy.

The main question seems to be if Price is as willing to sign with the Red Sox as the Red Sox are to sign him. The Blue Jays want him, too, but are most likely saying they can afford him so that Price is the one who looks bad when he goes elsewhere -- you should believe the Jays are going all-in on a free agent ace the moment they do, and not one sooner. The Dodgers can certainly afford him, but might prefer re-signing Zack Greinke to a shorter, cheaper deal. The Cubs are an option, especially with Maddon managing them, but as Gammons notes, they might go cheaper and reunite with Theo Epstein's old friend, John Lackey, and spend their money on an outfield upgrade in Alex Gordon.

All of this could very well leave the Red Sox as the most serious and capable suitor for the lefty. We're unlikely to learn anything more concrete for a little while longer, but the winter meetings are now just 10 days away: we'll probably learn a whole lot in a short span of time once those start up.