Red Sox Signing David Price a Slap in Face to Jon Lester


The Boston Red Sox signed David Price to a record free agent contract on Tuesday. It was a move deemed necessary based on wrong decisions last off season.

Boston Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made a big splash in free agency, snatching ace David Price to a seven-year, $217 million deal. With a dire need of an ace, Price brings that name to Boston. Not only does it show the Sox dire need of an ace, but it also shows how big of a mistake it was for the Sox to not bring back Jon Lester.

During last offseason when Lester had the decision to go back to Boston or pitch for the Chicago Cubs, he ended up going to the Cubs to a six-year deal worth $150 million. The Red Sox offered Lester six years for $135 million, but Lester ended taking the Cubs offer partly to gain a new experience.

The Sox can offer David Price $217 million but can’t move up their offer up 15 million or so to bring back Lester? If I were Jon Lester, I would see this as a slap in the face.

Lester was a beloved player in Boston and had success in both regular season and postseason. Finishing 110-63 in regular season  and 6-4 in postseason with the Red Sox, Lester proved to be reliable. To get back an ace for fove years and $150 million while proven that he can pitch well in Boston, it would have been worth the risk.

More from Boston Red Sox

At 30 years old, Price has compiled 104-56 record in his nine years in the league. However, Price has a 2-7 record in the postseason. Sure Price posts up a 6-1 record with a 1.95 ERA in his 11 starts in Boston, but it’s still risky.

Well, former Sox general manager Ben Cherington is gone so how could this be seen as a slap in the face to Lester? If you’ve forgotten, Red Sox owner John Henry is still there.

Henry had long been opposed to give pitchers over 30 years old long-term deals, which is completely understandable considering how majority of big contracts to pitchers seem to have backfired. If Henry wanted to terminate that stance with as few questions as possible and worries, then Lester would have been the best option to do that, not David Price for a record contract.

If the Sox gave a pitcher like Johnny Cueto or Jordan Zimmermann (when available) for around $120-140 million, it would be a different story, though some may feel uncomfortable with signing Cueto or Zimmermann due to not pitching enough in the American League.

Moreover, signing Price to $217 million, though experience in AL and signing Cueto or Zimmerman to figures around $120-140 million is equivalent risk due to Sox overpaying substantially for Price.

Next: Red Sox Overpay for David Price, But Who Cares?

I know Lester is gone and Sox have to move on from their mistake. The Sox were in the same position this year as to last year of needing an ace. Yet, the Sox decided it was not worth to go up 15 million or so more to sign back Lester but would break the bank for Price, who comes into Boston with lot more questions than worries than Lester.

Price is great, but the Red Sox undoubtedly overpaid based on their massive need for an ace. If they would have just brought back Lester, the need to overpay would not have been there.