BOSTON (CBS) — When David Price inked his massive seven-year, $217 million with the Red Sox, it was widely assumed that the left-hander would utilize the opt-out clause after three seasons. With the way that salaries for pitchers continue to rise, an opportunity for Price to cash in with one final megadeal seemed like a no-brainer.
But now, after a rough debut season in Boston, Price has vowed to see his contract through to the end.
“I’m staying right here. There was a reason I signed here and there’s a reason I’ll stay for six more years,” Price told The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham. “I came here to win and we’re going to win. If I go out there and pitch well, they’ll support me.”
Price, 31, also said that despite the record-setting contract, money is not what drives him to perform.
“If I didn’t sign another contract in baseball ever I would have been OK. That wouldn’t change my lifestyle one bit,” Price told Abraham. “I was already going to die with more than I could ever spend. Money has never driven me, not in my entire life.”
The Felger & Massarotti program debated whether Price really does intend to stay with the Red Sox for the duration of his contract. Tony Massarotti was irked by Price’s insistence that he will win over the fans of Boston.
“I don’t like the fact that he is making winning over the fans a priority,” Mazz said. “Is he pitching to please people, or is he pitching to win games? Start there. If you just focus on winning the games, everything else falls into place. It’s really that simple.”
“I don’t believe it,” Mazz said. “He can’t say the opposite! Not when he’s as needy as he is. If he comes out and says, ‘Well, I don’t know, I haven’t gotten that far,’ [then the response would be], ‘What?! You mean you might opt out?! You don’t want to be here?! You can’t hack it?!’ It just perpetuates the story. So, he’s got to say the other thing. He has no choice but to say the other thing.”
Michael Felger cited a list of pitchers who have opted out of big contracts when given the opportunity.
“Doesn’t pretty much anyone who has that clause [opt out]? I mean, give me an example of guys that have opted in,” Felger said.
Price also told Abraham that some of the criticism he heard from fans last season focused on his race.
“I got it all. It’s all right. I don’t care about that. My mom is white and my dad is black. I’ve heard that since I’ve been in school,” Price told Abraham of the verbal abuse he received. “There’s nothing you can say to me that I haven’t heard before. Your ignorance is not going to affect what I’m trying to do. But I feel sad it’s still out there.”
Felger said that comment is sure to become a story.
“He just opened up a whole can of nonsense with this. If it’s true, it’s true,” Felger said. “Now we have a thing. Now we have a thing — we’ve got racism at Fenway and racism in Boston and racism, racism, racism, racism, racism. … I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but it doesn’t feel like that’s what happens at Fenway anymore.”
Watch the discussion in the video above.