The Red Sox have agreed to a 7-year, $217 million contract with left-hander David Price, as first reported by Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. There is an opt-out clause after 2018, according to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. The deal is pending a physical.
Price was linked to many teams throughout the first few weeks of the winter, including the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants-- though reports indicate that the Cardinals were the runners-up in the sweepstakes. Price is the second major free-agent to sign this offseason, joining new Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann. Zack Greinke, Jason Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton are the top unsigned free agents.
The signing of Price represents a monumental move for a Red Sox team that was expected to add a frontline starting pitcher this offseason and was widely expected to be one of the highest bidders for Price. Price's contract is the 7th-largest in baseball history and the most ever for a pitcher, beating out the $215 million deal Clayton Kershaw signed with the Dodgers in 2014.
Price will be reunited with Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who acquires the southpaw for the second time in two years after trading for him while serving as the Tigers general manager. Price is the second significant move for Dombrowski in his tenure with the Red Sox, as the team acquired closer Craig Kimbrel in a trade with the Padres last month.
Price, 30, will head a Red Sox rotation that struggled mightily in 2014 and is likely to include Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Eduardo Rodriguez going forward. Boston also has Joe Kelly and prospects like Henry Owens and Brian Johnson in its rotation mix, so a trade may come to clear the logjam in the near future.
Price heads to his third AL East team after stints in Tampa and Toronto, and is the owner of a lifetime 3.09 ERA in eight major-league seasons with the Rays (2008-14), Tigers (2014-15) and Blue Jays (2015). He is a 5-time All-Star who won the AL Cy Young award in 2012 with the Rays and has finished within the top six in Cy Young award voting on four occasions.