Boston Red Sox Overpay for Free Agent David Price


The Boston Red Sox have signed David Price to a massive free agent contract. Exciting move, but a clear overpay.

Clearly, they were never going to be outbid. The Boston Red Sox knew they had a massive need for an ace pitcher, quickly targeted the top guy on the market and did whatever they had to get the deal done. In a move first reported by Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have signed free agent starting pitcher David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract.

The deal gives the Red Sox their undisputed ace at the top of the rotation, as they clearly look to compete for a World Series championship in 2016. The lack of an established ace at the top of the rotation was the most glaring hole on the Red Sox roster, and it is now in-arguably solidified. However, it cost them a historic amount of money. Price is great, but will he be worth it?

The $217 million contract makes Price the highest paid pitcher in MLB history. On top of that, his $31 million average yearly salary makes him tied with Miguel Cabrera as the highest paid player at any position in the history of the game. Simply looking at the numbers, this much is obvious: Price got P.A.I.D.

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Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was one of the first to confirm Abraham’s report of the Price signing with the Red Sox for such a staggering amount, and he also gave us a some more important information on the deal. According to Rosenthal, Price has a three-year opt-out added to his deal. So, not only is he being paid as much as any player in the history of the game, Price can attack free agency in three more years if he feels he can do better.

The upside in this deal is certainly limited for the Red Sox. They will lean on Price for the next few years. If he does not perform, the contract looks awful. If he continues to pitch at an extremely high level, Price will likely be able to get an even larger deal after three years.

I understand that free agent pitching comes at an incredibly high price, but I cannot help but think the Red Sox overpaid here. Actually, I think it clearly an overpay, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Price is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in baseball, but he is not THE best. Do not get me wrong, he is incredible, but it is not like he has a trophy case full of Cy Young awards. Price has a long history of success in the American League East which certainly played into the Red Sox hands here.

He has always been great, but in eight years, he has only one Cy Young award, and has a history of struggling in the post season. Make no mistake, Price is a true ace who will get the job done for Boston, but when you give a guy a contract making him the highest paid player in MLB history, you expect the very best. Price is great, but he is not Clayton Kershaw.

I understand why they felt it necessary to pull out all of the stops for Price here, and I do not necessarily even disagree with the move. That being said, I can easily see it backfiring on them a few years down the line, and we have seen before how major free agent deals gone wrong can hurt a ball club.

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Signing Price is exciting, and was perhaps even necessary. The Red Sox are undoubtedly closer to a World Series with him on the team. That being said, there is always a major downside on a move like this. Maybe it’s alright, but the Red Sox clearly overpaid here. Just something to keep in mind.