David Price’s career in Boston can be described as shaky at best. There are Price lovers and Price haters, most fans can agree that Price has not been all that. Fighting with fans, Hall of Famers, and the media, Price cannot handle the pressures of playing in Boston. David Price’s 7 year/ $217 million contract came a year after Jon Lester was offered a 4 year/ $70 million contract. Lester is a good pitcher who can perform in the playoffs. However he was 30, and according to John Henry the Red Sox refuse to sign pitchers over 30.
Price is sensitive, and cannot handle big games. Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox still still gave him one of the biggest contracts ever given to a pitcher. Before Price was verbally assaulting Hall of Famers, he was attacking Red Sox fans on Twitter. Price is about as tough as a plastic bag in a tree. He also went after David Ortiz for the unholy act of admiring the two home runs he hit in the playoffs. David Ortiz again proved himself the bigger man by burying the hatchet. It seemed that Price would never sign here, and if he did it would be a huge mistake. Like Carl Crawford, Price went blind at all those zeroes.
Price was “Ace” going into the 2016 season. He was “saving all his postseason wins for the Red Sox”. At the end of the season his ERA was 3.99, which is not good at all. Price is making the same amount of money that Clayton Kershaw is, and that’s how he turned out? Kershaw had a 1.69 ERA in 2016. Many would argue and say it is unfair to compare Price and Kershaw, but why is that? Price is making that much money and supposedly one of the league’s top pitchers. Why can he not perform like the league’s top talent?
Price started 35 games that season and threw 230 innings. He also ended with a record of 17-9. All that is impressive, but Price can’t have an ERA that high. Price was rocked in the playoffs, giving up 5 runs in 3.1 innings pitched. After the season, Price was critical of reporters for having the audacity to point out that he has never won a playoff game as a starter.
Price started the season with an elbow injury in spring training. This caused the former Cy Young Award winner to miss significant time this past season. Even though Price was not on the mound all season, he was certainly in the news. During a rehab start in Pawtucket, Price’s play was not good, and the boo’s fell down on him. Price missed his scheduled interview with the media and quickly drove away. His record: 6-3 with a much lower 3.38 ERA in 74.2 innings pitched. Price, to the delight of his cowardly teammates, went after Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley on a team flight. This season was one headache after another. Price was outstanding coming out of the bullpen in the playoffs, but the Red Sox need starters to show up in the postseason.
The best-case scenario going forward is that Price either dominates or is at least decent this season. The Red Sox need production from their starters, and Price needs another big contract. Price will be 32 this season and his performance will continue to go down. His elbow is still in question. The Red Sox get what they can from Price, let him opt out, and move on. They would save themselves $119 and a whole lot of headaches.
Follow Matt McGurn on Twitter: @MickGurn
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