The Boston Red Sox have recently agreed to sign David Price to a seven-year megadeal worth $217 million with no deferment in payment. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the pitcher's agreement also includes an opt-out clause that will let him re-enter free agency after three years into the contract.
Price's Red Sox deal is the 7th-largest in baseball history and the most expensive ever given to a pitcher. It surpasses the $215 million deal that Clayton Kershaw signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. Before Price, the most that the Red Sox had shelled out for a pitcher was the four-year, $82.5 million extension signed by Rick Porcello back in April.
As such, the 30-year-old former Blue Jays pitcher will get $30 million a year for the first three seasons. He will then be paid annual salaries of $31 million in 2019, and $32 million from 2020 to 2022.
Before acquiring him, the Red Sox went through 12 different starting pitchers over the course of the past season. Interestingly, none of them managed to reach 200 innings, and the combined ERA of the group was 4.39, which ranks 13th in the AL.
Price is a five-time All-Star, who is coming off a season where he finished second in the AL Cy Young voting. His 2015 stats are 18-5, 2.45 E.R.A., 220.1 Innings, 225 strikeouts, 1.08 W.H.I.P and .230 opponent average.
Trading Price is the second major move that Dave Dombrowski made as the new Red Sox President of Baseball Operations. Last month, he already acquired relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres.
The club are reportedly relying on Price to be the ace that they lacked since left-hander Jon Lester left for Oakland during the 2014 trade deadline, ESPN noted. Boston tried to re-sign Lester as a free agent before the last season kicked off, but he eventually joined the Chicago Cubs.
Apart from Price, Johnny Cueto is also one of the top free agents on the MLB market. His chances of heading to Boston were apparently lost when the team signed Price, but if he had it his way, the free agent pitcher would already be playing for the Red Sox.
"Johnny really wanted to go to the Red Sox," Cueto's agent Bryce Dixon told Peter Gammons. "His idol is Pedro Martinez. He wanted to be with him. When he threw the shutout in the World Series, one of the first things he said was, 'Did Pedro ever throw a game like that in the postseason?'" Dixon added. The Los Angeles Dodgers is the current favorite to sign Cueto after they missed out on Jeff Samardzija and Zack Greinke.