BOSTON (CBS) — Many fans have spent the 2018 season hoping David Price pitches well for the Red Sox, but not for the reason that makes the most sense.
While Price winning means the Red Sox are winning, the ulterior motive was that a good/great season could potentially push the lefty to opt out of the final four years of the massive seven-year, $217 million contract he signed with the team back in 2015. It would shed a boatload of payroll for the Red Sox, and spare fans from having to jump on the roller coaster that is David Price on and off the field.
But Price has 31 million reasons not to opt out of his contract with the Red Sox after this season. Actually, make that 31 million and one, as the Boston lefty told MassLive.com on Tuesday.
“Why would I leave here to go to a team that’s not as good as this team?” said Price, who gets the start for Boston Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. “I came here to win. I don’t worry about all the other stuff. Just come here to win. We’re going to have a really good chance to do that.”
Based on Price’s comments, he won’t be opting out of the richest deal ever given to a pitcher, not when that paycheck is coming from a team that currently sits atop the MLB standings and has a great shot at winning it all next month.
But to win it all, Price knows that he has to pitch well in the postseason, which hasn’t happened for much of his career. The 33-year-old owns a 5.03 ERA in 17 playoffs appearances, and that’s with 6.2 shutout innings out of the Boston bullpen in 2017. He has yet to pick up a postseason victory — or pitch particularly well — as a starter, which he’ll have to do in October if the Red Sox want to win their fourth World Series since the 2004.
In his only postseason start with the Red Sox, Price surrendered five runs in 3.1 innings to the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of the 2016 ALDS. The Red Sox lost in three games.
Price knows that has to change this postseason, and he looks poised to finally flip his script. He’s pitched great as of late, posting a 4-0 record with a 1.78 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .196 average over his last eight starts. For the season, he’s 14-6 with a 3.57 ERA and a solid 1.13 WHIP.
But Price knows numbers he put up April through September won’t mean much if the Red Sox come up short in their quest for a World Series. While he has a few starts left this regular season, his focus is on winning when it matters most.
“Just go out there and hope I give up 27 straight 110 exit velocities right at guys,” Price said. “Twenty-seven straight outs. Perfect game. They’ll say I’m the luckiest pitcher ever on the planet to throw a perfect game. And I’ll take that.”
Some may be disappointed to hear that Price intends to stick around in Boston for a while. But if he can finally deliver in October, that script may flip too.