— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) December 4, 2015
Since the initial agreement on Tuesday, many have questioned if the Red Sox made the right decision giving Price the biggest deal in Red Sox history and MLB history for pitcher. In questioning that, they are questioning the true value of an experienced ace to a team. The Red Sox either had to trade for a starter and give up a big piece of the team or sign one using their monetary resources. In signing David Price they made the right choice. Boston was able to acquire an ace without giving up the high end talent it would have required to trade for a young controllable ace.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) December 4, 2015
They made the right choice signing a starter rather than trading for one, but did they need a true ace? Yes. To put it simply, after missing on Jon Lester a year ago, acquiring an ace caliber pitcher was not only an option but a necessity. Dave Dombrowski understands the value of having pitchers who are not simply good but great to lead a staff. During his tenure as GM of the Detroit Tigers, he had Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and David Price on a staff that took them to the postseason. Having veteran players such as those is especially important when running out one of the youngest lineups in the Major League. Boston has many young or inexperienced regulars such as Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Blake Swihart, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rusney Castillo. All of these players need guidance as they strive to become star players. Price understands his job off the field.
“When I’m not pitching I’m there for not only all my other teammates but all the other starters and all the other pitchers.. I just give everything from all my teammates. I want to be there for my teammates, I will be there for my teammates… I want to be a leader.”
The Red Sox had the worst bullpen in baseball last season according to Fangraphs. Acquiring an ace helps that problem too. Price stated in his press conference: “I want to pitch deep into ballgames. That’s something I take pride in. I want to give the bullpen a day off…” While Dave Dombrowski has put an emphasis in the bullpen by acquiring all-star closer Craig Kimbrel, David Price alone will help mitigate much of the struggles the bullpen had last season. The combination of Price and a strong back end to the bullpen should prove to be a winning formula in 2016 and beyond.
“When you can bring one of the best pitchers in baseball, a true No. 1, it makes you better in so many ways.” President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said, “Not just on the field, but off the field, in the clubhouse. What David [Price] brings to us is a plus in so many ways.”
Acquiring David Price does far more than meets the eye to improve the team in 2016 and for years to come. By providing skill, a winning mentality, and mentor-ship for a very young team, Price will go beyond the description of a traditional ace. David Price was the perfect acquisition for the Red Sox this off-season.