It’s not official, but it’s inevitable at this point that David Price will top the mound for the Boston Nine in 2016, and the following 6 years, well, maybe. Here is the simple breakdown, and it really is simple.
2016 – 30 Million
2017 – 30 Million
2018 – 30 Million
2019 – 31 Million
2020 – 31 Million
2021 – 32 Million
2022 – 32 Million
7 years, 217 million dollars!
Here is what is great. This is really a 3 year, 90 Million dollar deal. Because by 2018 someone will have gotten paid more and Price is likely to take that opt out looking for more money. Now that is a perfect scenario for both parties.
The Red Sox pay 30 million dollars a year for the last 3 prime years of David Price’s career without having to necessarily pay for his declining years.
David Price gets a boat load of money and pitches for a team that is supposed to contend annually and his has motivation to continue to be great so he can cash in on that opt out.
Here is where the deal comes off the rails. If David Price’s decline begins in his early 30s instead of his mid 30s the Red Sox are stuck with him through the length because you have to pitch well to get more money than the field.
Is it an over pay even for the first 3 years? Yes. Does that matter because of the genius of the construction of the contract? No, because the Red Sox are a big market and can afford to pay those 3 years no problem. So from the short and long term financial futures of the team it’s a fine deal, unless he totally stinks and ends up as an anchor weighing down the Sox payroll without adequate performance.
Now how does it change the team on the field?
They are better, much better. Things are able to slot into place in a much better way and he should be a great role model not only as a veteran, but as a lefty, for Eduardo Rodriguez and Henry Owens. With the earlier addition of Craig Kimbrel the pitching staff is in a far better place than it was in 2015.
This also makes one of either Rodriguez or Owens a tradable asset. I don’t want to part with either, but if you were to pair one with Hanley Ramirez or Pablo Sandoval to rid yourself of one of their terrible contracts you now make them more appealing.
You could also trade Wade Miley. I personally like that better. I’m not even thinking that you need to get anything of super value back in either trade, but teams are always looking for young controllable left handed starting pitchers and they are willing to pay for it.
The starting rotation now looks something like this…
with Clay Buchholz, Henry Owens, Brian Johnson all there to fill in the blanks. (I realize Buchholz will likely start the year in the rotation, but I don’t expect him to make more than 15-18 starts because he hasn’t given any evidence that he should.)
If I had my way I would move Kelly into the pen and make him a flame throwing set up man. If he is hitting the high 90s throughout his 6 innings starts, he could be dominant in 1 inning of work throwing in the triple digits. The lack of power arms in the Red Sox system make me think that 4 arms at the back of the rotation being Kelly, Kimbrel, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara would be a pretty amazing way to have revamped the bullpen while only adding 1 piece.
It’s a good deal for the Sox for 3 years. We will see what happens after that, but for now this is a well thought out move that improves the club in the short term, without mortgaging the future.