On Monday afternoon, it was announced that the Red Sox and David Price had come to terms on a 7-year, $217 million deal, with a player opt-out after the 3rd year. The contract, pending a physical, surpasses Clayton Kershaw's $215 million deal as the largest deal every given to a pitcher.
Right off the bat, whether you love this deal, hate this deal, or are somewhere in the middle, we can all agree that it was much needed. Aside from Jon Lester (and perhaps Josh Beckett), the Red Sox have not had a legitimate ace since Pedro Martinez. While most of us can agree that Price was overpaid, these type of things happen in Free Agency. Because of supply and demand, especially for top of the line, never mind true ace, pitchers, all teams are going to have to go above and beyond to bring in a guy of this caliber.
To be honest, this is the perfect deal for the Red Sox.
Sure, they had to overpay, but its just money. They did not have to give up Swihart, Betts, Bogaerts or one of their talented prospects. If there is anything we have learned about the Red Sox over the years, it is that they love their prospects and aren't afraid to dish out a ton of dough in free agency.
Price's playoff statistics are suspect, but, in my opinion, inconclusive. In his career, Price is 2-7 with a 5.27 ERA. However, are we really going to judge this guy on a couple of starts? After all, didn't great starters, such as Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens, start off slow but develop into solid, if not dominant, postseason pitchers as they progressed in their career?
Currently constituted, their starting rotation looks something like this:
Coupled with an above average offense and solid bullpen, in my opinion, thats good enough to win the AL East.
However, I think the Red Sox have some other moves in their arsenal. Hanley Ramirez and his God-awful salary needs to be dumped, and, with 7 legit major league starters (The five mentioned above, as well as Steven Wright and Henry Owens. Joe Kelly looks destined for a bullpen role), a pitcher seems likely to be traded. I would not put it past them to add another bullpen piece, but we will save this talk for a later date.
I know that people hate the contract, but who cares? Since when did people start caring how much money John Henry had in his pocket?
The Red Sox are 101-115 since trading Jon Lester, and finished last in the AL East twice. Ownership, management and every player on that team aren't luxurious enough to be in the position to worry about what Price's deal will look like in 2020. Right now, Price is a Top 5 pitcher in all of baseball. And that is the only thing that matters as this team looks to get back on track.
By Pete Packowski