The Red Sox made an unexpected move on Monday night, announcing that they have locked up right-hander Rick Porcello with a four-year contract extension. According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, the deal is worth $82.5 million in guaranteed money and will keep Porcello in Boston through the 2019 season.
Porcello spoke at length about his deal on Derek Jeter's site Player's Tribune, likely due to the fact that he is represented by the same agency as Jeter. Porcello cited the winning environment in Boston and closeness to his homes on the east coast as reasons for signing the long-term deal.
Porcello has yet to make his debut for the Red Sox after being acquired in a deal for Yoenis Cespedes this winter, but will pitch alongside Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly in a new-look Sox rotation this season. Miley (through 2018) and Buchholz (through 2017) are also part of the team's long-term rotation plans, with prospects like Matt Barnes, Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens likely to join the mix in the next year or so.
In six seasons with the Tigers since breaking into the majors as a 20-year old in 2009, Porcello has posted a lifetime 76-63 record and 4.30 ERA in 184 appearances (180 starts). He will be a member of the Red Sox for his age-26 through age-30 seasons, giving himself a chance to cash in on the free market as a 31-year old in the winter of 2020.
Porcello is the first notable starter from next winter's free-agent class to sign a long-term deal, with Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jordan Zimmerman, Mat Latos and Doug Fister among the potentially-available arms. It is considered unlikely that any of those pitchers will sign an extension with their current teams before the end of the season, though things can always change.