Red Sox, Will David Price Be Right For Boston?
MLB fans, we need a serious talk about David Price.
After having one of the best seasons of his career, Price had a disappointing postseason that ended with a no-decision against the Kansas City Royals, whom went on to eliminate the Toronto Blue Jays in six games of the American League Championship Series. However, teams like the Boston Red Sox, whom are waiting for the free agent market to begin in the offseason, need to ignore the storm of ridiculous fan-hate being thrown on Price for his playoff record, which stands at 2-7.
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Yes, that first win was actually as a reliever in 2008 for the Tampa Bay Rays. Yes, the second win was as a reliever for three innings against the Texas Rangers in this season’s American League Division Series, when he gave up three runs after Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey had already pitched 4.2 innings and only gave up a run.
However, two things that should be noted are his performances in the regular season and in last night’s game.
After giving up a home run in the first and second innings, Price realized that his lefty changeup was not fooling the lefty batters. Once he started using his curveball, which is admittedly not one of his best pitches, the Royals were more at a loss at what was coming next. They couldn’t tee off on his fastball and it made all of the difference in the game.
Yes, Price gave up three runs, but the second homer was given after a fan caught the ball over the edge of the wall, making it difficult, even for replay, for anyone to decide whether the ball would have cleared the structure or not. The third run came late in the seventh inning, allowing only a single that Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez inherited and allowed to score off of an Alex Rios single. Arguably, Price settled in and gave the Blue Jays a chance to win the game, which they almost did after Jose Bautista homered twice to tie it up.
Simply put, the Blue Jays also may not even make the postseason without adding Price. The 30-year-old went 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA, including a 9-1 record and a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts for Toronto. Down the stretch, Mark Buehrle was bleeding runs all over the place; Drew Hutchison was demoted; and, even though Dickey was winning games, he gave up 12 more runs than Price in just four more starts. If it wasn’t for the emergence of Marco Estrada becoming a solid starter and the miraculous return of Marcus Stroman from a knee injury, Price would have been the only starter that the Blue Jays would have had confidence in bringing them to the promised land.
It’s not like Boston should be picky about signing a possible ace pitcher, anyways.
Oct 23, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals fans hold up a sign in reference to Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price (not pictured) in game six of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox were dead last in the A.L. East division, with 11 pitchers starting at least twice. Two out of the lot were prospects whom were rushed into starting roles: Eduardo Rodriguez (10-6, 3.85 ERA) and Henry Owens (4-4, 4.57 ERA). After a 6.14 ERA, veteran Justin Masterson was quickly thrown off of the Fenway ferry. Clay Buchholz might have had a better record of 7-7 and an ERA of 3.26 had he not been sidelined with a season-ending injury. Rick Porcello‘s big contract combined with a 9-15 record and his 4.92 ERA made Red Sox Nation almost want to cry. Wade Miley‘s 11-11 record made people wonder which man would decide to come out onto the mound, each night. And Joe Kelly‘s impressive win streak of eight straight starts would have been even more impressive if he didn’t start the year looking like the biggest lemon ever at a used car lot.
If the Red Sox want to drop huge cash on someone, Price has made a good argument to be the one.
Luke Strickland of Bleacher Report recently stated that Price “has been among the elite arms in the game since his first full season as a starter in 2010. During that time, Price ranks third in wins, fourth in innings pitched and 11th in ERA.” Strickland also adds that Price is “one of the few bona fide aces in baseball. It’s time he gets paid like one.” Strickland estimates that Price’s projected free agent contract will cost a team eight years and $200 million.
It’s not like the Red Sox owners haven’t thrown money at a problem before. Just look at Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, last offseason. However, Boston shouldn’t have to worry about a proper return on their investment, compared to those two players. Besides, if Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and his executive staff can, somehow, unload those heavy burdens physically, mentally, and financially, the team should have more than enough assets to cover Price’s (ahem) price tag.
With all of that in mind, let’s be sensible about recent events. The Red Sox need an ace. Price is an ace on the free agent market, this winter. He knows the A.L. East very well, since he just won the division title and spent most of his career there. And, if the Red Sox actually find a way to make it to the postseason, maybe Price has figured out the right mix of pitches against left-handed batters, now. There’s not much left to say except to vent about how winter cannot come quick enough for Boston. The price is right for Boston to pick Price as their future ace. The question remains, now, whether Price will want to leave Toronto and come to the Red Sox.
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