David Price has a pretty big decision to make this offseason.
The Red Sox left-hander is under contract through 2022 after signing a seven-year, $217 million deal with Boston in 2016. But Price has the option to opt out of that deal following the 2018 season and hit unrestricted free agency.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi recently pressed the 32-year-old on the possibility of him leaving the Red Sox this winter.
“I want to win, I want to win here and I want to win now,” Price told Morosi. “We all know the amount of ability we have in this clubhouse. … I’m focused on winning right now. I haven’t thought about opting out.”
Price’s comments would seem to suggest he’s staying put, at least until the Sox capture a World Series title. But it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing in Boston for the five-time All-Star, whose 3.99 ERA over two-plus seasons with the club hasn’t exactly met his lofty expectations.
Price also has battled several injuries and ailments since the beginning of the 2017 season — most recently dealing with a bout of carpal tunnel — and has had some tense, occasionally bizarre interactions with the media.
Unless he really wants a change in scenery, though, it’s in Price’s best interest to stay with the Sox. Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Gio Gonzalez headline a pretty strong free agent crop in 2019, and unless Price significantly lowers his 4.44 ERA in the second half of the season, it seems unlikely he’d find a better deal in free agency at age 33 than the $127 million he’d be guaranteed in Boston over the next four years.
The 11-year veteran adopted a similar tone back in February, insisting he’s focused on pitching better with the Red Sox and helping them turn the corner after last season’s American League Division Series exit.
We’ll find out this coming winter if he sticks to those guns.
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