The Red Sox have agreed to terms with free-agent left-hander David Price on a seven-year contract worth $217 million, CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman confirms. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe had the initial report on the signing. According to Ken Rosenthal, Price's deal with Boston also includes an opt-out after three seasons.
Price, 30, is coming off a 2015 season in which he pitched to a 2.45 ERA and 4.79 K/BB ratio in 220 1/3 innings for the Tigers and Blue Jays. For his career, Price owns an ERA of 3.09 (126 ERA+) across parts of eight major-league seasons for the Rays, Tigers and Blue Jays. Price won the AL Cy Young Award in 2012, and he has worked at least 200 innings in five of the past six seasons.
Price's $217 million contract sets the record for pitchers, as it narrowly tops the $215 million extension that Clayton Kershaw signed with the Dodgers in January 2014.
The Price acquisition also directly addresses one of Boston's primary weaknesses in 2015, when it finished 78-84 and in last place in the AL East. Last season, Boston used 12 different starting pitchers, and none of them reached 200 innings. To put a finer point on it, the rotation leader in WAR, Clay Buchholz with a mark of 2.6, made just 18 starts. The Red Sox's rotation also ranked 13th in the AL in ERA. Price will front a rotation that, absent additional moves, will likely also include Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Also of note: As Sports On Earth tweeted, Red Sox president of baseball ops (and former Tigers GM) Dave Dombrowki has in a little more than a year traded for Price, traded away Price and signed Price to a mammoth free-agent contract.