While the Los Angeles Dodgers spent Tuesday morning introducing manager Dave Roberts in a press conference held inside the Dodger Stadium Club, there appears to have been plenty of free agency movement going on behind the scenes.
The end result, at least for the time being, has David Price agreeing to a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
Price’s deal makes him the highest-paid starting pitcher in MLB history, just edging the $217 million the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Clayton Kershaw for in January 2014.
With Price no longer available, Zack Greinke stands alone as the leader in the free-agent market. Greinke and Price entered the offseason seemingly 1A and 1B for several teams.
It’s believed the Dodgers were included in that group, though reports have indicated Los Angeles views Greinke as their top priority.
For as much as the pair of aces have been intertwined, their respective futures appear to have been attached at the hip on Tuesday. According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, the Red Sox were pressed for an answer by Greinke prior to signing Price:
Price, one of top pitchers on the market with Zack Greinke, was ready to sign with the Cardinals, but then the final push began. The Red Sox were also in negotiations with Greinke, according to a high-ranking team official who asked not to be identified due the sensitive nature of negotiations. Greinke’s representative, Casey Close, told Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski that he wanted an answer by Tuesday night on whether the team would agree to Greinke’s contract proposal.
Speaking at the Roberts press conference on Tuesday, Dodgers part owner Magic Johnson identified Greinke as a top priority. “I think we all want him back. But if somebody comes in and does something that is off the charts and we don’t match that, then, you know, he leaves,” Johnson said.
“We want him back. He’s our priority — our No. 1 priority in the offseason.” Greinke reportedly is seeking a five- or six-year contract with an average annual value that exceeds what Boston committed to Price.
He’s expected to choose between re-signing with the Dodgers or joining the San Francisco Giants. While Greinke may desire a contract similar to what Price received, at age 32 he’s two years older than the southpaw.