I know I don't usually do these posts until someone makes it official. But, if EVERYONE else is acting like it's true, I might as well go along with it.
First of all, the contract is huge. HUGE. 7 years and 210 million huge. It's too much. It's way too much. It's not even close to not being too much. And, let's stop focusing on the 3-year opt out like it's a good thing. Those are never good things for the team. If the player pitches well, you need to overpay to keep him. If he doesn't, you're on the hook for a dead weight contract.
But, It's not my money. I always say that John Henry is free to spend as much of his money as he'd like. As long as he doesn't cut it off. Ever. In four years, a 27 year old Xander Bogaerts becomes a free agent. The following year, a 28 year old Mookie Betts does the same. Don't you dare say they have to walk because the Sox are paying David Price's corpse $33 million. Beyond that, back up the truck and pay the man his money.
Because the Sox are better next year thanks to this deal. The Sox are better for the next three or four years. I wrote the other day that maybe the impeding free agency of XB and MB gave the Sox a "go for it now" deadline. It looks like that's exactly what they thought.
They went for it in a big way.
The beauty of adding someone at the top of the rotation is that it allows everyone to slide down, and make their slot look so much better. It happened with Kimbrel. Sure, he wasn't an enormous improvement over Koji at closer. But, Koji as set-up is huge. And Tazawa moving to the seventh makes that an enormous upgrade. So, three innings were improved with just one guy. That's what Price does. He gives the Sox an obvious ace. But, it's so much more. Suddenly Porcello as the #2 guy looks a lot more appealing. Miley gets to sit at #3. Clay gets to be the #4 pitcher with the most upside in the league. Rodriguez gets to dominate the fifth spot. Even ignoring wherever they stick Kelly, all five spots in the rotation were just vastly improved. By adding one guy. Suddenly a severe weakness of last year's team becomes a strength. One more guy that you can count on going deep into a game, and an improved bullpen to help out the ones that can't.
And, the Sox probably aren't even done. Remember those prospects I thought the Sox should use as a Godfather offer for an ace (or, whatever)? They got their ace, and still have all the prospects. They even got to keep their super-high draft pick since Price was signed without compensation. What are the Sox going to do to improve even more?
The sky's the limit.
This could be a lot of fun!