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I think this is a good time to step away from the unpleasantness that’s been happening over the past few weeks in Foxboro, and instead look to the hopeful light that’s been shining in the Fenway section of Boston. It is, after all, in keeping with the hopefulness that is the Holiday season. Just like any other family, it is shaping up to be a much happier season as the “head of the household” opens up the check book in a big way in an attempt to make everyone happy. He seems to be off to a good start.

 

BLOWN AWAY:

 

 

I have to say that, despite some reports to the contrary, I never thought that David Price would ever come to Boston. In addition to giving more than just the appearance of not liking it here, he was rather open in his desire to pitch in the National League, preferably in St. Louis. I was of the mind that even large sums of money spread over several years, would not get him to change his mind. I think I’m happy I was wrong. If I sound a little tentative, it’s because the deal is for $217 million for 7 years, and if there is a lesson the can be learned from the Yankees and CC Sabathia, sometimes 30+ year power pitchers can lose it long before their contract ends. That being said, if Price, as did CC, can help win a championship for Boston in the next 3 years, it may just be worth the gamble.

 

There is a player option built into his contract after the third year which could conceivably work to the Sox advantage. If they win right away, or he really is not happy here, he could leave and still fulfill his wish to finish his career in St. Louis. In addition, I’ve read reports that say Price, who was 18-5 last season with a 2.45 ERA, has already started to be less dependent on his power stuff, and is mixing in other pitches, so perhaps he can remain effective longer and a 7-year deal won’t seem so outrageous after all. We’ll see.

 

MILEY SURPRISED:

 

 

The signing of Price was not the first, or the only, move that new Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski made to bolster his pitching staff. A stronger bullpen was an obvious need, and he addressed that right away, shipping several prospects to San Diego for closer Craig Kimbrel, considered by most to be one of the top four closers in major league baseball. That not only assured the Sox of having someone with “stuff” for the end of the game, it frees up old friends Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa to help with the middle innings. On top of that, Dombrowski made the pen even more “electric” by shipping Wade Miley off to Seattle for middle reliever Carson Smith, as well as starter Roenis Elias. This was not without some controversy, as the veteran Miley is valued as an end-of-the-rotation guy who consistently eats up in the area of 200 innings or so every year, and those will have to be picked up by somebody else. Who that is, remains to be seen.

 

A YOUNG OUTFIELD:

 

 

Somewhat lost in all the excitement generated by the pitching moves was the signing of Chris Young, late of the New York Yankees. This is obviously not of the same caliber of deal as the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury was, but potentially no small happening either. The 32-year-old Young gives the Sox a veteran presence in the outfield and a little right handed “pop” (14 HRs last year in 318 AB) on a team that has lacked it recently. This could prove to be very valuable should the defensively gifted, but offensively challenged Jackie Bradley, fail to duplicate his feats of last August, when he proved that he could be a tough out.

 

As spring training is still over two months away, it seems a little too early at this point to use my usually sign off of “Stay tuned,” so instead what do you say that we all just cozy up to the ‘old Hot Stove’ and wait to see what other moves remain to be made? I’m sure there are still a few…

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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