Price earns high praise from AL East stars

Former teammate Donaldson, O's Jones up for challenge in facing new Red Sox ace

Price earns high praise from AL East stars

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- David Price has spent nearly his entire career dominating in the most offensive-minded division in baseball. Two of his most formidable foes don't see that changing any time soon.

American League Most Valuable Player Award winner Josh Donaldson and five-time All-Star Adam Jones are both at David Ortiz's Celebrity Golf Classic this weekend, where much of the buzz has been about Price's move to Boston, which became official Friday.

Donaldson was fortunate to spend the final portion of 2015 as a teammate of Price in Toronto.

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"He's a great teammate and I'm going to miss him," Donaldson said. "He's a bona fide No. 1 starter, a Cy Young Award winner. At the same time, it's a business, so I'm not going to take it easy on him when he's on the other side."

Though Donaldson always had great respect for Price, he got a much better sense of what sets him apart during their time as teammates.

"He's the kind of pitcher that affects the team for three or four days because he's going to save your bullpen," Donaldson said. "He's going to go out there and eat up innings for the entire team."

As a veteran of the AL East with the Orioles, Jones has been able to watch how smoothly Price has evolved over time.

"He pitches," said Jones. "But he pitches with 95 [mph]. When he first came up, he was 95, 98, here it is. Now he pitches. He throws his changeup, throws his curveball -- throws that back-door cutter that freezes everybody. He's not just a guy you can say, 'I'm going to get a heater and try to square it up.' He'll throw you a back-door cutter, he'll throw you a first-pitch curveball or a changeup or that cutter in."

After finishing in last place in the AL East the last two seasons, the Red Sox are in position to make life much tougher for Donaldson's Blue Jays and Jones' Orioles.

"But it's the beauty of this division," said Jones. "It continually gets better. You think that a team is just going to have a couple of years of bad years, but that's not how it works. The Red Sox, they've got [Dave] Dombrowski. It's not like they have someone who doesn't want to win. Dombrowski wants to win."

Price doesn't just receive high marks for his on-field performance, but nearly everyone who has been around him raves about his ability to be a "glue guy" in the clubhouse, which isn't all that common for a starting pitcher.

"He's a great player, but an even better person," said Donaldson. "He's a great guy. He cares about his teammates, cares about winning and wants to help his teammates win, and he keeps things fun as well. He's definitely in tune to what's going on. That's rare in baseball for a pitcher to always be in tune with everything, and that's what he brings every day."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.