The David Price sweepstakes have officially ended. The big winners of the Price sweepstakes are none other than the Boston Red Sox. The ace lefty has agreed to take his talents to Boston on a franchise-record seven-year, $217 million deal with an opt-out clause after three years as reported by Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
The signing of Price is just the latest significant move the Red Sox have made this offseason. Under the direction of new President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, who has made it his mission to improve both the rotation and the bullpen, both of which ranked the worst last year. He accomplished his first goal by swinging a deal to bring All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel to Boston to lock down the bullpen and has now brought in Price to be the new anchor at the top of the rotation for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox were rumored to be one of the most heavy suitors for Price with their seemingly unlimited financial resources. It is surprising to see Price sign before the Winter Meetings in Nashville next week. Most thought he would sign during the Winter Meetings or shortly after. Apparently he had other ideas than to wait.
Price becomes the second major free-agent pitcher off the board as veteran Jordan Zimmermann inked a five-year, $110 million deal with the Detroit Tigers a few days ago. Price was part of a more elite class of free-agent pitchers though and his signing may began an avalanche of dominos to fall in in the free-agent pitcher market. His contract is now the new record deal for a free-agent pitcher, beating the deal Max Scherzer signed just last offseason with the Washington Nationals for seven years, $210 million.
The last few years have been a whirlwind for Price. In 2014 he began the year with the Tampa Bay Rays, the team he had played for his entire career. He was flipped at the deadline to the Detroit Tigers in a three-team deal with the Tigers and Seattle Mariners. He was traded again at the next deadline in 2015 to the Toronto Blue Jays where he quickly became the ace pitcher the Blue Jays desperately needed in their quest for a postseason berth. Price sported a 9-1 record and pitched a sizzling 2.30 ERA across 74.1 innings of work through 11 starts with a 10.5 SO/9 ratio after this year’s trade. He finished the regular season with an overall 18-5 record, 2.45 ERA across 220.1 innings with a 9.2 SO/9 ratio. He was not as dominant in the postseason though and fell short in leading the Blue Jays past the Kansas City Royals to the World Series.
A less-than-stellar showing in the postseason did not diminish the impressive track record Price had compiled during the regular season. He is still an elite pitcher and brings a ton of leadership to the Red Sox rotation, and is set to become the ace pitcher the Red Sox so desperately were craving this offseason.