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David Price will opt in to final four years of contract with Red Sox

It would’ve been surprising to see the veteran lefty walk after Boston’s World Series victory.

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Red Sox starting pitcher David Price will opt in to the final four seasons of his seven-year, $217 million contract with the Red Sox, as he announced prior to Wednesday’s World Series parade and The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey noted on Twitter:

Price is owed $31 million next season, then $32 million in the next three seasons after that. Though starting pitcher contracts almost always get ugly near the end — and the Red Sox signed up for that when they signed him through his age-36 season — Boston presumably won’t complain about having him back for the 2019 campaign after he posted a 3.58 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 30 starts this season, delivered a pair of dominant starts in the ALCS, and then made another two starts and a relief appearance in the World Series, finishing the Fall Classic with an ERA of 1.98 and a 0.95 WHIP.

A few months ago, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see Price opt out of his deal with the Red Sox — even as he told reporters he planned to stay — because of his often poor relationship with he Boston media, one that has transformed him from one of baseball’s most lovable and popular stars into a guy who often appears miserable, is frequently vilified, and is always guarded with his public remarks.

But even after Price finally shed the “can’t pitch in the postseason” label and won the first World Series of his career, it’s still unlikely — considering the current landscape of baseball’s free-agent market — that the 33-year-old would have been able to earn more than the $127 million he’s owed by Boston with another team. Finances and the ability to keep winning are presumably major concerns for him, and now that he’s won a World Series with the Sox, perhaps he’ll be happier in Boston, at least for the immediate future.