The Red Sox landed David Price today with a seven-year, $217 million contract and the sports buzz in Boston is all about the price of winning. There are mixed feeling about the move. Price was the best player on the MLB free agent market. He’s as much of a sure thing as there is from a starting pitching standpoint. He just finished second in the Cy Young Award voting and 9th in the MVP voting after posting an 18-5 record with a league best 2.45 ERA. At 30 years old, Price is in the prime years of his career and he is exactly what this Red Sox team needed for an early Christmas gift. Price was #2 on our recent list of Boston Sports Holiday Wishes. The link is below.
The Red Sox filled their greatest area of need as this is a true ace and #1 starter. He’s a top five starting pitcher in all of baseball. So, why are there mixed feelings in Red Sox Nation about signing this player? There are already a lot of comments from Red Sox Nation about Price’s ability to pitch in big games and the size of the contract. We’ll analyze both points in this post.
Can Price pitch in big games?
The fans against the signing will be quick to point out that Price has a career 2-7 record with a 5.12 ERA in his postseason career. These numbers certainly don’t stand out as what you would expect from a true ace. However, does that really mean he can’t win in the playoffs? Most great players eventually can overcome their postseason woes and win. What better place to do that than in Boston? While the postseason number are important, there needs to be more focus on what Price has accomplished in the regular season. After all, this is a team that has finished in last place in three out of the last four years! The goal right now it to contend and get to the playoffs. Price is the player who can make that happen. Aside from big games, with most pitchers, there is always the question of “can he pitch in Boston?” The answer to this question is an overwhelming “yes”! Price has a career 6-1 record with a 1.95 career ERA at Fenway Park. No pitcher in baseball has a better ERA at Fenway Park than David Price. Price will surely win a lot of games in Boston.
Did the Red Sox pay too much money?
The answer to this question is yes. $217 million is an overpay. However, the Red Sox had to overpay to land Price. The team needed an ace to contend. $217 million was the Price. Deal with it. The Red Sox are a better team because of it. Would you rather Clay Buchholz as the team’s #1 starter next year and have another year of #3 starters leading the team? Or would you rather the Red Sox contend for a championship? Yes, a championship. That’s the difference this move could make. The Red Sox are now the best team in the American League East after adding Price and Craig Kimbrel. $217 to contend for championships or compete for last place? This isn’t really a tough call.
Red Sox Nation should be very excited about this move. There is a lot of young talent in the every day lineup and the starting rotation is now very solid.
Here’s a quick look at the rotation:
1. David Price
2. Clay Buchholz
3. Rick Porcello
4. Eduardo Rodriguez
5. Joe Kelly/Wade Miley/Henry Owens
Don’t focus on the order. There will be different variations of the rotation. John Farrell will likely go with this as his top four purely based on respect and the experience of Buchholz and Porcello. That’s seven solid starting pitchers. The team now has depth in the rotation and it’s possible one of these pitcher will be dealt.
From 2003 – 2009, Red Sox fans enjoyed have a contending team that was in the hunt year after year. The Boston baseball culture was changed from a losing one to a proven winner. That culture has been missing recently aside from the 2013 season. The winning culture appears to be back on the horizon. A big time Price was paid to bring it back to Boston.
The Red Sox made a bold statement today. They are going to do whatever it takes to win. As a fan, what else could you ask for?