Left With No Choice, Desperate Sox Break The Bank For Price

They had to do it this way, they had no choice, and they have nobody to blame but themselves.

The Red Sox have made David Price the richest pitcher in the history of baseball with a 7 year, $217 million contract, slightly eclipsing the $215 million dollar deal Clayton Kershaw inked with the Dodgers. David Price is a good pitcher, an elite pitcher, one of the best in the game, but he’s no Clayton Kershaw.

But Price is the best pitcher available now, at a time where the Red Sox need an ace more than ever. Timing is everything in life, and that’s made the Sox new lefty a very, very rich man.

If you’re to believe the reports, and I do, Boston wasn’t Price’s first choice. But money talks, and when the Red Sox outbid the next highest team by $30 million, all of a sudden your first choice changes.

Sox fans should be wary of Price, who carries with him a reputation as a player that needs to be coddled. That won’t fly in Boston. It’s a different world here, David, just ask former teammate Carl Crawford. Price has proven himself to be whiny, self-absorbed, and unaccountable, taking to Twitter after the Red Sox lit him up in the 2013 ALDS to call out media members and get into spats with fans. Price is a regular season stud, but is a total bust in the playoffs. He has never won a game as a starter when it counts, sporting an ugly 0-7 record and an even uglier 5.27 ERA in October.

But the Sox have to get to October first, something they have failed to do in five of the last six years, including last place finishes in three out of the last four years. Price can, and will, help them get there. And that’s why, despite all the negatives that come with this signing, this is the right move. But it didn’t have to be this way.

A year ago, the Red Sox thought they were smarter than everyone else with their organizational philosophy to cheap out on top end starting pitching. It comes as no surprise that they weren’t smarter than everyone else.

The Sox insulted homegrown ace Jon Lester with a $70 million dollar contract offer, traded him for a player they decided they didn’t want to keep in Yoenis Cespedes, and then refused to pony up to bring Lester back in the offseason. They filled out their rotation with a soft-tossing NL West castoff, a $20 million sinkerball pitcher who doesn’t induce groundballs, and anointed a pitcher who has never made 30 starts in a year as the “ace.” What a shocker, they finished in last place.

That Lester sized hole in their rotation has resulted in a record-setting Price hit to John Henry’s pocketbook. There was no other option.

This Red Sox team is ready to win now. The addition of elite closer Craig Kimbrel should solidify the bullpen. The emergence of the team’s outstanding young talent, like Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and Eduardo Rodriguez, should give the Red Sox competitive core of players for years to come. They needed an ace, desperately, no matter the cost. They have one now.

It takes a group of fools to let an ace get away, and it took a lot of gold for those fools to get another one.

Matt McCarthy is the sports anchor on the Cape Cod Morning News on 107.5 WFCC, and is a news anchor/reporter on 99.9 The Q, Cape Country 104, and Ocean 104.7. He can also be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.

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