No matter who becomes the Boston Red Sox manager, he’s going to have to smooth things out with David Price, who is expected to be a key member of the starting rotation next year.

When Price last spoke after four shutout relief innings in Game 3 of the American League division series, he made it clear he wanted to be in the rotation instead of the bullpen. He likely will avoid surgery on his torn pitching elbow and should return as a starting pitcher in 2018.

“That’s what the doctors tell us at this point,” said the president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski. “You can see he threw the ball extremely well.

“After what happened this year, you always sit on the edge of your seat when things like that happen. But he’s seen the top specialists in the country and they told us if he got back to this point, he should be fine for next year. So that’s what our anticipation is, that he will be part of our starting rotation next year and be ready to go.”

Price threw 57 pitches in relief Sunday, the most he’d thrown since July 22, the last time he started a game. He said Sunday he was capable of 80 pitches.

“I can do this as a starter, too,” he said.

Next year is his third of a seven-year, $217 million deal. He can choose to opt out of the deal after 2018.

Dustin Pedroia visited a specialist in New York on Wednesday to get his injured left knee checked.

“He’ll come back to Boston and see another specialist that was seen earlier in the year,” Dombrowski said. “Then we’ll have to decide what’s going to take place.”

Six years ago, Terry Francona was in John Farrell’s shoes. After the Red Sox fell apart at the end of the 2011 season, the club parted ways with Francona, who took a year off before becoming the Cleveland Indians’ manager.

Francona spent time Tuesday talking with Farrell, who was fired as the Red Sox manager.

Francona said Farrell told him he was at peace with the move.

“It’s one of those things where it’s your friend. I do think, for whatever reason, that place is a little crazy. I think he felt like he probably had a target on his back for a while. And I think he’s done some amazing things. He won a World Series there.

“I think he’ll probably end up feeling like he’s in a better place, because I think that place can age you a little bit sometimes. I saw what it was doing to him. He’ll be fine. He’s got too good a reputation. He’s too good a guy. He’ll be just fine.”

Farrell alluded to the difficulties of managing in Boston in his official statement. Francona said he understood that.

“There’s just so much passion and so much interest that, with that comes, it can’t help but come with headaches,” Francona said. “And unlike New York, it’s got a little bit of a smaller-town atmosphere to it. I think in New York you get lost a little bit, it’s so big. Not in Boston. Like, when somebody gets called from Triple-A, they know who it is. There’s just a lot of interest and sometimes you go home with a headache.”