The Red Sox identified David Price as their top free agent target early on, and they began courting him in November as principal owner John Henry and a variety of top Sox execs all traveled to Nashville, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes. Price, in turn, peppered the Sox with questions about their commitment to winning, even asking about this year’s first-round draft pick Andrew Benintendi. GM Mike Hazen walked through the Sox’ entire 40-man roster. Ultimately, Price was swayed. “The youth that we have, the team we can put out there on Opening Day right now, I think that’s very special,” he said today. Negotiations continued after Thanksgiving, and the Red Sox’ willingness to give Price an opt-out helped lead to the signing. Here are more quick notes from out of Boston, where Price was introduced this afternoon.
- The Sox’ future payroll projections helped convince them to make a bold move and sign Price, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe writes. The team has significant contracts coming off the books in all of the next four seasons, and with the team beginning to rely on a young core that includes Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, Eduardo Rodriguez and others, allowing them to pay Price far into the future without worrying too much about his salary derailing them.
- Price’s former teammate Josh Donaldson thinks Price will have a huge impact on the Sox, Scott Lauber of the Herald writes. “He’s the kind of pitcher that affects the team for three or four days because he’s going to save your bullpen. He’s going to go up there and eat up innings for you the entire time,” says Donaldson. “And in the clubhouse, he’s a great player but an even better person.”
- Before signing Price, the Red Sox looked deeply into the trade market to try to find an ace, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal tweets. Ultimately, though, many trade talks ended quickly, as the Sox blanched at teams’ opening asking prices.
- The Red Sox were able to add Price and Craig Kimbrel this offseason, but they aren’t going to be able to get rid of Hanley Ramirez, Lauber writes. Ramirez has $66MM left on his contract and doesn’t have a defensive position, and the recent non-tenders of Pedro Alvarez and Chris Carter — both of them younger and much less costly than Ramirez — show that there won’t be much of a market for an expensive and flawed hitter like Ramirez this winter. Ramirez, for his part, doesn’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong, even after a season in which he didn’t hit especially well and was a disaster defensively. “The thing is, in April, nobody said anything. I had 10 homers,” he says. “I know how it is. It’s the media. When you’re struggling, things are going to come out. I just got to hit and that’s it, and everything’s going to be fine.”