The Boston Red Sox appear to have won the David Price sweepstakes.
The 30-year old lefty has reportedly signed a 7-year, $217 million contract with Boston. If he passes the physical, Price becomes the highest paid pitcher in MLB history exceeding the $215 million and $210 million contracts signed by Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, respectively. There is an opt out provision in his contract following the 2018 season. Price was also considering offers from the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.
Price split the 2015 season between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays going a combined 18-5 with a AL leading 2.45 ERA. He would finish runner up in AL Cy Young balloting to Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros. Price would win 9 of 10 decisions with the Jays and was a critical figure in Toronto reaching the post-season for the first time since 1993. Needless to say, I think Price will be even more unpopular than Sox manager John Farrell when the Sox visit Toronto in 2016. But as most baseball fans know Price spent the majority of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays beginning in 2008 when he knocked the Red Sox out of the ALCS. Price would win the AL Cy Young in 2012.
The Red Sox now have a bonafide ace who will take pressure off the likes of Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Joe Kelly, Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez. Price has always pitched well at Fenway Park. In 11 career starts at Fenway, Price is 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA. All he has to do is make nice with Big Papi.
This is Boston’s second big off-season deal. Last month, the Sox acquired closer Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres. Yesterday, the team also added free agent outfielder Chris Young who played with the Yankees last season to back up Jackie Bradley, Jr., Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo.