David Price To See Dr. James Andrews
The worst words to be uttered out of baseball circles involve “forearm tightness”, “second opinion” and “Dr. James Andrews.” Those are the words being mentioned this morning involving Boston Red Sox starter David Price after he experienced discomfort after a simulated game two days ago. Price was then scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday and sent for an MRI.
Now, there is “serious concern” from the Red Sox camp that Price needs Tommy John and has been sent to Dr. James Andrews to seek a second opinion. No matter how you slice it, this is terrible news for the Red Sox and former Cy Young Award winner in Price.
David Price has thrown an MLB-high 10,713 pitches over the last three seasons and his 3.99 ERA last season was the highest since his rookie season. Price was a focal-point for this Red Sox 2017 staff and was set to lead one of the most formidable rotations in recent memory. The Red Sox still have Chris Sale and Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, but there is no doubt that if this goes the way we all anticipate, Price will be sorely missed.
Boston can’t just replace a guy like David Price who logs over 200 innings, brings a strong presence and dominant stuff to the hill each time he toes the rubber. It’s why Price makes $31 million a season despite the rough 2016 and postseason question marks. Speaking of which, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports pointed out this morning that with this news, no matter the results of the second opinion, makes Price unlikely to opt out following the 2018 season with six-years and $187 million left on his contract.
Now before many in the media and fans get bent out of shape about the Clay Buchholz deal, I say not so fast. Buchholz needed to go, his salary had to be dumped and there is still not a place for him on the 2017 Red Sox. Boston still has Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz behind Porcello and Sale. As I mentioned on Twitter, Boston could also target veteran right-hander Doug Fister if they feel there is now a pressing need at starting pitcher.
Fister is a 33-year-old veteran ground-ball pitcher that has already pitched under Dave Dombrowski in Detroit. Why he is still a free agent remains to be seen, but the veteran won 16 games with a 2.41 ERA in 2014 and logged 180 innings during an up-and-down year with Houston last season. Fister would likely command a one-year deal, and given the Red Sox current situation would command closer to $8M, perhaps more, but I would take Fister any day of the week over alternatives such as Brian Johnson or Henry Owens.
All of Red Sox Nation collectively holds their breath today as no matter your opinion on David Price, his personality or pitching in the postseason, winning in the regular season without a man with his pedigree will certainly be a daunting task.
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