The Boston Red Sox today signed left-handed pitcher David Price to a seven-year contract through the 2022 season with an opt-out clause after the 2018 season. To make room for Price on the 40-man roster, infielder/outfielder Garin Cecchini was designated for assignment. President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski made the announcement.
Price, 30, is a five-time All-Star, a two-time American League ERA champion, and winner of the 2012 Cy Young Award. He will wear No. 24.
In 2015, Price led the AL with a 2.45 ERA (60 ER/220.1 IP) between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays. Named an All-Star, he topped AL pitchers allowing two earned runs or less in 23 of his 32 starts (72%), including eight of 11 after being acquired by the Blue Jays on July 30. Price helped lead Toronto to its first postseason berth since 1993 and finished second in AL Cy Young Award voting.
Last year, Price limited opponents to a .230 batting average, .271 on-base percentage, and .350 slugging percentage, posting the fourth-best opponent OPS in the AL (.621). He also recorded the sixth-best walk rate (1.9 BB/9.0 IP) and strikeout rate (9.2 SO/9.0 IP) in the AL, and had the fourth-highest strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.8). Throughout the regular season, he did not allow a stolen base.
The first overall selection in the 2007 June Draft by Tampa Bay, Price is 104-56 with a 3.09 ERA over 218 career major league appearances, all but five as a starter, between the Rays (2008-14), Tigers (2014-15), and Blue Jays (2015). He has over 1,000 more strikeouts (1,372) than walks allowed (371) in 1,441.2 career innings.
Among active pitchers with at least 1,000 innings, Price ranks fourth in ERA behind Clayton Kershaw (2.43), Adam Wainwright (2.98), and Madison Bumgarner (3.04) - all of whom have spent their entire careers in the National League. Price's 3.09 ERA is the best as an American Leaguer since the start of 2000 (min. 1,000 IP). He is the only active pitcher with three different sub-3.00 ERA seasons as a starter in the AL (2.72 in 2010, 2.56 in 2012, and 2.45 in 2015).
A 20-game winner in 2012, Price owns a career .650 winning percentage, second highest among active hurlers with at least 125 decisions (Kershaw, .671). His 68-37 record (.648) against teams that finished the season .500 or better ranks second best in modern major league history (min. 100 starts since 1900). Only Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax places higher (.651, 84-45).
Price, who has reached the 200-inning mark in five of the last six seasons, tops MLB with 468.2 innings pitched in the last two years (2014-15). The southpaw has an AL-high 12 complete games over the last four seasons beginning in 2012.
Price won the Cy Young Award in 2012, leading the AL in wins (tied, 20-5), winning percentage (tied, .800), and ERA (2.56). He has been to five of the last six All-Star Games, tied with Felix Hernandez and Kershaw for the most among pitchers since 2010, and has finished among the top two in AL Cy Young Award balloting in three of those six seasons.
Among starters from 2013-15, only Kershaw (6.2) had a higher strikeout-to-walk ratio than Price (5.8), who has fanned at least 200 batters in four of the last five years, including a career-high and major league-leading 271 strikeouts in 2014. He is the only pitcher who has had his WHIP improve in each of the last five seasons, the last four of which all ranked among the AL's top five.
Price is 49-21 with a 3.17 ERA (222 ER/630.2 IP) in 97 career outings against the American League East Division (96 starts). His .700 winning percentage opposing the AL East is best all-time among pitchers with at least 50 starts facing that division (since 1969). Beginning in 2010, his 43 wins versus the AL East are 10 more than any other pitcher.
In 11 regular season starts at Fenway Park, Price is 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA (16 ER/74.0 IP), the best mark by a left-hander at this ballpark (min. 10 starts) since Babe Ruth also posted a 1.95 ERA here from 1914-19.
Price has helped his teams reach the postseason in six of his eight big league campaigns, including each of the last three years. In 14 career postseason outings (eight starts), he is 2-7 with a 5.12 ERA (36 ER/63.1 IP) and 59 strikeouts, including four postseason appearances (three starts) last season.
A native of Murfreesboro, TN, he attended Vanderbilt University and was selected Golden Spikes Award winner as the best amateur baseball player in the country following his junior season in 2007.
He runs a foundation, Project One Four, which supports youth programs that provide opportunities to learn life skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Cecchini, 24, appeared in two games with the Red Sox in 2015 but spent the majority of his season with Pawtucket. The left-handed batter led the PawSox with 117 games played, spending time defensively in left field (65 games) and at first base (23 games) and third base (19 games). He hit .213 (90-for-422) with 14 doubles, seven home runs, 28 RBI, and 34 runs scored for Pawtucket, also stealing nine bases in nine attempts. Selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2010 June Draft, the Louisiana native has hit .279 (516-for-1,852) with a .372 on-base percentage in 510 career minor league games, as well as .229 (8-for-35) in 13 appearances with Boston.