Dave Dombrowski and David Price have had a long professional relationship. Dombrowski had previously worked with Price, who was a member of the Detroit Tigers in 2014 and 2015, before being traded at the 2015 Trade Deadline to the Toronto Blue Jays. A week later, the Detroit Tigers fired Dombrowski. Long story short, Dombrowski and Price have some serious history. From 2014 and 2015, Price amassed a 33-17 record, while posting a 2.88 ERA and recording 496 strikeouts in 468.2 innings with the Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, and Toronto Blue Jays. In his time under Dombrowski, Price went 13-8 with a 2.90 ERA.
After being traded to Toronto and Dombrowski getting fired, Price went on an absolute tear. In 11 games, Price went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 74.1 innings, all of which Dombrowski was able to watch while picking up his unemployment check with his feet up for the rest of the summer. As an impending free agent, Price acknowledged that he was going to be the most wanted pitcher on the market, but was trying to stay focused on the playoffs, where he posted a 5.40 ERA in two games.
In December of 2015, new Red Sox President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowski signed Price to a 7-year, $217 million contract with Boston, which made him the richest pitcher in MLB history. Subsequently, Price laid a stinker in his first season in Boston, posting a 17-9 record with a 3.99 ERA, which was his highest mark since 2009, all while complaining about the passion and attitude of Red Sox fans.
Heading into his second season with the Red Sox, expectations were high for Price, who now has Chris Sale and newly crowned Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello as bookends in what was thought to be one of the most dominant starting rotations in all of baseball. Throughout this Spring Training, Price has been dealing with elbow discomfort that will sideline him until at least mid-May. While Price is throwing, many fear that he will eventually need Tommy John surgery and could be lost for over a year.
In the recent days, I have seen many prominent media members get on Dave Dombrowski for signing pitchers that have either not worked out yet in Boston or have been hurt. Tyler Thornburg, Drew Pomeranz and Carson Smith are the most recent guys Dombrowski has traded for that are currently hurt. However, I have seen a lot of people lump David Price into this category as well, and that is simply not the case.
Sure, Price has been disappointing since coming to Boston. With one of the largest contracts in baseball history, it is understandable as to why fans are upset.
With that being said, how is any of this Dombrowski's fault? At a time when the Red Sox desperately needed a top of the line starter, Dombrowski got the best pitcher available. Would you rather have Zack Greinke right now, who is still afraid of his own shadow? Or perhaps Sonny Gray, who has been MIA for the past year? If I told Red Sox fans you were getting David Price for seven years a few years ago, you would be ecstatic.
Furthermore, stop with this nonsense of blaming Dombrowski because Price was hurt. Upon his signing, Price was probably the most durable pitcher in all of baseball. Since 2008, Price has averaged 228 innings and 34 games started, per 162 games. Was Dombrowski supposed to know Price's elbow was going to suddenly start hurting? And I really don't look at Price's delivery and say he is a ticking time bomb, like others *cough Chris Sale cough*.
Dombrowski hasn't made all the right decisions, but signing David Price at the time that he did was a home run.