Well, this has turned out to be quite the week for the MLB Hot stove hasn’t it? All things have been quiet and then BAM! Two of the biggest free agents are off the market and both have found new homes. Surprised? David Price landed with the Boston Red Sox, which I thought was always going to be his destination. I just didn’t think his contract would have been THAT large. More on that later. Then the dominos began to fall, and Zack Greinke is now a Diamondback. Wait, what? Now THAT is a signing that certainly surprised me. So, let’s jump into the thick of thinks and recap this crazy week of two huge signings. As always, you can follow me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24
David Price signs Seven-Year, $217 million dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox
So I got a bit lucky here. I was confident that Price would land with the Sox. However, up until the day he was actually signed, even Price himself was set to join the St. Louis Cardinals. Heading into Friday, Price had it in his head that he would sign with the Cardinals and thus spend the rest of his career in the National League. However, as I had stated in my previous article, The Red Sox were hell bent on signing Price. They would go as far as offering Price $30-40 million dollars more than any team’s highest offer. It looks as if money was the winning factor, as Price will suit up on Opening Day with the Red Sox logo on his jersey. Was this contract a mistake? Will the Red Sox regret signing Price, a 30-year-old pitcher, to the richest contract in MLB history?
The problem with these contracts, in my opinion, is a general perception that fans make it out to be. Is it an absurd amount of money? Absolutely. Is paying a pro athlete millions upon millions absurd for any sport? I fully believe so. Baseball is the only sport that doesn’t have a salary cap, so they can and will spend freely. You either have to accept that fact in the sport of baseball or you’ll never dig yourself out of it. When ANY athlete doesn’t perform as they’re expected, the first thing I don’t think about is their contract. At the end of the day, that doesn’t impact me in any type of way, shape or form. It is what it is and that’s the standard that major league baseball has set.
Will Price live up to his contract? I highly doubt it. The incentive for Price is his ability to opt out of it after three years. So, until the day comes, if it ever does, I think the logical way to look at this contract is a three-year $90 million dollar deal. That sounds a bit easier to swallow than the mammoth contract he signed. While it may seem unlikely that a pitcher approaching the age of 34 would want to opt out of such a huge contract, the market will once again change and he might be able to squeeze out more. We can’t say for sure. One thing I do fully believe is that the Red Sox will get three solid years from one of the elite pitchers in the game.
Zack Greinke signs 6-year $206 million dollar deal with Arizona Diamondbacks
This was truly out of left field for me. I’d like to think that I follow off-season rumors closely and I don’t recall hearing about the Diamondbacks having serious interest in Greinke. His contract was less than Price, which I was also a bit shocked with, but he’s earning 4.3 million more per year than Price.
What concerns me about Greinke is not his talent. That is something we can’t deny. But it’s a bit crazy to think that one of the most dominating pitchers in recent memory is joining his fifth team in five years. Royals, Brewers, Angels, Dodgers, and now the Diamondbacks. Much has been said about his diagnosed social anxiety, but he certainly has entered a market that will feel like a walk in the park compared to Los Angeles.
On the flip side, I love this signing for the Diamondbacks. Greinke remains in the NL West where last season he pitched the following against those teams (excluding the D-backs)
3 games vs. Giants- 20.1 IP 6ER 18SO 6BB
5 games vs Padres- 36.2 IP 5ER 31SO 7BB
I don’t think the Diamondbacks will be in the playoffs the season, as they still certainly have some work to do on their rotation, but they are heading in the right direction. Solidifying the top of their rotation had to be one of their biggest needs, and they landed one of the best in the process.