Cora said he informed Sale about the Opening Day assignment after his start Monday against the Phillies.
"I told him after the game yesterday, and he's like, he was cool and excited about it," Cora said. "But he wasn't excited about his performance [against the Phillies]. "I told him, 'Hey, tomorrow you run the bases, start getting ready, and you got Game 1 and Game 6 [an interleague start against the Miami Marlins]."
Sale is coming off a stellar first season for Boston, going 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA. He finished second in Cy Young voting. That award's previous winner, Rick Porcello, started the 2017 opener for Boston.
Price would be in line to start the home opener against the Rays on April 5.