David Price has the opportunity to opt out of his contract to dive back into free agency this winter but he would prefer to stay with the Boston Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball and David Price knows it. That’s why he has no intention of going anywhere.
Price has the opportunity to opt out of the remaining four years and $127 million left his contract to test free agency again this winter. He’s in the midst of his best season in a Red Sox uniform, leading some to believe he may take advantage of this clause to seek a more lucrative deal. When asked about the possibility of opting out, Price made it clear that he wants to stay in Boston.
"“Why would I leave here to go to a team that’s not as good as this team?” Price told reporters, according to Masslive’s Christopher Smith. “I came here to win. I don’t worry about all the other stuff. Just come here to win. We’re going to have a really good chance to do that.”"
The man has a point. The Red Sox have already tallied 98 wins heading into Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, giving them a commanding lead in the race for home-field advantage throughout the postseason. They are poised to win their third consecutive AL East division title, a streak that happens to coincide with Price’s arrival in Boston.
Postseason success has eluded the Red Sox over the last two years but they will enter October as the favorites to win the World Series this season. With a loaded roster on the verge of setting a franchise record for regular season wins, this team gives Price the best chance he’s ever had of winning a championship.
If winning tops his list of priorities, it’s hard to envision Price finding a better landing spot than Boston.
The Red Sox would likewise be hard-pressed to find a comparable replacement for their rotation if Price were to leave. There may not be another pitcher on the market better than Price, at least not the version of the lefty that we’ve seen this year.
Price endured a tumultuous first two seasons in Boston marred by underperformance, injury, and clashes with the media. This year has been a different story. He’s 14-6 with a 3.57 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 9.19 K/9. Price’s 4.1 WAR ranks 9th among American League pitchers.
The 33-year old has taken his game to another level since the All-Star break. Price is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA and has held opposing hitters to a .196 batting average in his last eight starts. He’s racked up 53 strikeouts with only nine walks over his last 50 2/3 innings.
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Price’s icy relationship with the media also seems to have thawed. He’s had his issues with a few media members over the last few years but Price believes they have turned the page. The intense media scrutiny in Boston once appeared to be a factor that would chase Price out of town at the earliest opportunity, yet now he seems to welcome the pressure.
No word yet on what his relationship is with JWK’s Jim Buchanan.
There’s always the chance that Price’s stance on pitching in Boston could turn south again or the potential to earn a bigger paycheck could sway him into opting out. We can’t count on locking Price in for four more years until he makes it official this offseason.
The takeaway here is that Price’s focus is in the right place. He’s not thinking about the money or where else he wants to play. Price wants to win and he wants to win in Boston. If he helps lead this team to a championship this year, we really can’t complain about whatever he decides to do next.