In case you missed it, one of the most prized and targeted free agents of the 2016 offseason is off the shelf. David Price, who spent 2015 with the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, signed a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, with an opt-out clause after three years. This marks the third team that Price has played for in the American League East, and gives Boston a true ace.
This is great news for the Red Sox and their fan base, but what exactly does this signing mean to their rivals, the New York Yankees? Does it indicate that the Bronx Bombers should sign a big-name free agent, or is this just another big signing that won’t pan out for the Red Sox?
David Price has been a superstar since he broke into the league in 2008, helping the Tampa Bay Rays reach the World Series. Over the course of his eight-year career, Price owns a win-loss record of 104-56, with a 3.09 ERA. He also took home the American League Cy Young award in 2012, going 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA during that season. The Vanderbilt product was one of the most sought after players when the Rays made him available for trade in 2013, and he eventually ended up with the Tigers. He would then be traded to the Blue Jays in mid-2015, and now could spend the rest of his career in Boston. Price will have to pitch extremely well to make the opt-out clause something realistically worth considering three years from now.
The Boston Red Sox have made a lot of moves the past few seasons, acquiring Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in the 2015 offseason, and now Craig Kimbrel and Price this offseason. While the Red Sox are spending the big bucks to get the best talent inside of Fenway Park, the Yankees are just sitting pretty, making small moves here and there. This raises the question — Should the Yankees make a push at a big free agent?
Jason Heyward is a name that has been thrown around that the Yankees should sign, but with their current outfield depth, they should stay away. If the season started today, the outfield for the Yankees would consist of Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran, with Aaron Hicks as the primary backup and a few prospects they could also fill out the bench. Jason Heyward is going to get a huge payday this offseason, and the Yankees picking up him up would just add to the laundry list of big, overpriced contracts that will haunt them in the future.
The Red Sox have made a bunch moves over the past few years that haven’t paid off for them and have found them at the bottom of the AL East. Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Sandoval and Ramirez are a few of the names that have cost the Sox hundreds of millions of dollars, with limited onfield production in return. The Red Sox’ lack of success in the free-agent market could be a sign that the acquisition of David Price might not work out for them. While Price is still a dominant pitcher, he wont give the Red Sox all they are asking for, and may not bring a championship in the near future. If recent history is any indication, the mid-to-late thirties of a power pitcher’s career should show a steep decline.
The New York Yankees should not panic over the signing of David Price in Boston. They have faced him many times in the past, and this signing won’t make much of a difference. The Yankees need to keep all of their prospects, and not make any ridiculous signings this offseason. They need to continue to make smaller moves and hold back on the signing of anyone big like Heyward. The talent currently on the Yankees roster can carry them far into the playoffs. The Yankees must sit on their hands, allow a few more prospects to develop, and wait for the costly mistakes to begin coming off the books.