The Boston Red Sox have never been a franchise that has shied away from making a big splash in the MLB offseason. While they may not have a history of dishing out massive contracts like the New York Yankees often do, they are starting to lean in that direction.
After Boston found themselves on the outside looking in on the 2014 MLB playoffs, a year after their memorable World Series title run, the Red Sox front office went on a free agent frenzy. This Red Sox version of Black Friday shopping included giving Hanley Ramirez four years and $88 million, Pablo Sandoval five years and $95 million and Rick Porcello who they inked to a four0year, $82.5 million dollar extension this past April, before he even threw a pitch in a Red Sox uniform.
The problem? Boston finished dead last in the A.L. East this year. Porcello, who cashed in on that extension with a career 4.30 ERA at the time, was 9-15 on the year with an ERA barely under 5.00. Ramirez started the year hitting everything out of the park, but finished the season with a sub .250 batting average, under 20 home runs and was better known for needing a TomTom to navigate Fenway’s left field. Sandoval? Well the most memorable part of the panda’s sub 50 RBI season was getting to know he likes to browse Instagram when he’s not up to bat.
Is this all to say that going out and signing big name free agents to huge contracts doesn’t work? Not exactly, but the lack of success that it produced for Boston last year is not scaring them away from doing it again.
This time however, as Red Sox fans say, they got their guy.
David Price will continue his tour through the A.L. East after signing a massive seven-year, $217 million contract with the Red Sox just last week.
Boston found out the hard way last year that they desperately needed a top of the rotation ace after letting Jon Lester walk to the Cubs. Admirable attempts to get Wade Miley, Justin Masterson, Joe Kelly or Porcello to be that guy just proved to be a waste of time.
Should the Red Sox have even gotten to the postseason this year, they would have been sorely missing that ace that the 2014 San Francisco Giants proved that you not only need, but sometimes that’s really the only thing you need.
Whether the Price deal works out remains to be seen. Boston has had a major front office shake up since last off-season and changes to the current roster are being made. One thing that isn’t changing is Boston’s willingness to hand out wads of cash to high Priced free agents, and why not, they are a big market team after all.