By John LeClair – @JLeClair_
December 1st, 2015: The Red Sox struck their biggest deal in free agency in the franchise’s history, they signed David Price to a 7 year 217-million-dollar contract with an option to opt-out of his deal after the 3rd year. At that moment in time this looked like a great day for our beloved storied franchise, but now? It looks like it could be a nightmare. I remember how excited I was to be acquiring one of the best pitchers in all of baseball at that time. The true ace that the Red Sox so desperately needed. I remember thinking “I hope he doesn’t opt out of his contract after the 3rd year.” Now all I can think is “God, I hope he opts out of his deal after next year.”
It’s been less than 2 years and this is probably the same change of thought that most Red Sox fans have had. They went from hoping David loves it here and hoping that David stays to just hoping that maybe by some miracle he decides that he wants out of here badly enough that he opts out after next season. That’s the thing I think most Red Sox fans don’t understand is David never loved it here, and he most likely never would. If you asked me at the beginning of the 2015 off-season if David Price was going to sign with the Red Sox I would have told you no way in hell. David’s made his feelings towards Red Sox fan’s well known before he ever became a member of the Boston Red Sox and they weren’t good. He told reporters that most of the hate and negativity he receives has come from Red Sox fans. He had a bitter taste in his mouth with not only the Red Sox fan’s but also a former beloved player in David Ortiz. It all started in 2013 when Ortiz took Price deep and sort of admired his Home Run, Price took serious notice of this and it didn’t sit well for him. Then in 2014 perhaps as payback in the two teams’ first meeting Price hit Ortiz and then utility first baseman Mike Carp causing a bench clearing brawl and a war of words between the two in the media. This all helped fuel a hate for the Red Sox that was obviously clear for David…but there is just one thing that you must remember: Money Talks.
When the Red Sox signed Price December of 2015 it was reported that the Sox had beaten the 2nd highest offer by the St. Louis Cardinals by a whopping 30 Million dollars. Just earlier in the day on the morning of December 1st David Price and the St. Louis Cardinals reportedly thought they were close to a deal. The Red Sox offer at that time was reportedly 200 Million Dollars. Now think about that for a moment. If the Red Sox beat the Cardinals offer by 30 Million Dollars that means the Cardinals offer was 187 Million Dollars. It wasn’t until the Red Sox raised their offer to 217 million did David accept. That means an offer 13-million-dollars more than the next the best offer WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH to land David Price! 13 million dollars wasn’t good enough to make him get over his strong hatred that he had for the city and the franchise but 30 million dollars was! During his press conference, he stated that he just believed in this organization and how young they were on the field and how bring the future looked. If David truly and honestly believed that, then why wasn’t the original offer of 200 million dollars good enough then? The Reason is because he didn’t mean what he was saying! What was the real reason he decided to come here? Money talks!
Let’s fast forward to now. David Price was just activated from the Disabled List after being placed on it July 28th due to an elbow injury that caused him problems early in the season and caused him to miss the start of the regular season. When he came off of the DL earlier in the season his results were a mixed bag. He had a few good starts along with some bad ones as well. If that wasn’t bad enough in mid-July there was a feud between him and NESN analyst and former Red Sox Pitcher Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. This did not help David win over the support of any fans, in fact I believe this just helped fuel the hatred the fans have for David in this city. As things currently sit we have a little over a season to go until David can opt out of his contract. However, I have bad news Red Sox fans… It’s not going to happen.
Unless some miracle happens and Prices elbow is 100% healed and he pitches better than he EVER has in his career next season, the chances of him opting out of contract voiding the last 4 years of his deal are slim to none. With the combination of his elbow problem, his mediocre performance since joining the Red Sox, and his crappy attitude the chances of him opting out are basically 0 because the amount of money he’d be costing himself would be astronomical. He’s due to make an average salary of 31 million dollars each year for the next 5 seasons. There is no way in hell he could ever get paid more than that unless he has an unbelievable season next year, but odds aren’t on his side given his age and recent performance history. Next year Price will be entering his age 32 season, on the wrong side of his prime.
If that’s not bad enough Price himself has already stated that he is here for the long run and is going to make Red Sox nation like him.
So love him or hate him Red Sox fan’s, the reality of the situation is David Price is going to be here a while barring a huge unforeseeable trade to get him out of here but it’s in your best interest to hope and pray that David does good because we’re stuck with him like it or not
By John LeClair – @JLeClair_