The New York Yankees suffered a major defeat on December 1st with the Red Sox signing bonafide ace David Price.
Yes, Boston overpaid here. Seven years and $217 million is an astronomical number, but for my money, Price is worth every penny, just ask the Toronto Blue Jays (who under new management chose not to enter the Price bidding war for whatever reason).
Here’s the value of Price in a nutshell. The Blue Jays were a .500 team before acquiring Price at last season’s trade deadline (53-52 on August 1st). After acquiring Price, Toronto went 21-6 in August, then followed that up by going 18-9 in September to win the AL East by six games after being eight games back in August.
As for Price, he only went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts, and went at least seven innings nine times.
Perhaps the most valuable Price stat last season was he went 5-0 following Blue Jays’ losses. Before Price, Toronto would fall on their faces after a loss. With Price, Toronto turned the page and got back in the win column instantly.
Prior to last season, Toronto hadn’t been to the postseason since 1993, and once Price came along, the Blue Jays all of a sudden became one of the scariest teams in the sport. That’s no coincidence.
With all due respect to Josh Donaldson, Price was the most valuable player in baseball last season (If you would like to debate me on this, I’d be happy to entertain you).
And I don’t want to hear he doesn’t have the best postseason numbers (0-7, 5.27 ERA). You know what you can do with those numbers? You can crumble them up and throw them out the window because they mean nothing. Price is too talented to not turn it around in the playoffs.
You know who else struggled in the playoffs in their careers? Randy Johnson (ended up winning 2001 World Series MVP), Clayton Kershaw, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine. Maddux and Glavine won a World Series in Atlanta in 1995 and have both turned in several stunning performances in October. Things will change for Price in the postseason.
Back to the Red Sox who now not only have an ace to anchor their rotation, but also one of the best pitchers in the game period.
You can’t put a price (no pun intended) on the mental aspect of having a pitcher like Price take the mound for you every fifth day. When he’s on the mound, you know you have an incredible chance to win, and you know you can rest your bullpen since Price is an innings eating horse capable and willing to go the distance every time out.
The Red Sox gain here is a major loss for the Yankees. Aside from the Yankees offensive woes, another major weakness was how overworked the bullpen was last season. Every close game it was Betances (who’s command regressed steadily throughout the season) and Miller (who was forced to miss a month with an elbow injury due to overuse).
The Yankees didn’t have anyone in their starting rotation they could count on to hand the ball to and give the bullpen a day off and haven’t had a pitcher who could do that since CC Sabathia pre-2013.
Signing a David Price would have helped alleviate that problem and provided a stabilizing force in the rotation. Instead, it appears the Yankees will continue to hope and pray starters like Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and Sabathia can miraculously work their way past the 6th inning while Price will consistently pitch deep into the night for the Sox.