David Price won 17 games, reached a career high in starts and contributed 230 innings in his first season with the Red Sox. But he also finished with an ERA a tick under 4.00 and failed once again to win a postseason start.
The latter remains a huge criticism of Price, who is 0-8 with a 5.74 ERA in nine career postseason starts.
"I need to get (the monkey) off my back,'' acknowledged Price as Red Sox players cleaned out their locker Tuesday, a day after having their playoff run ended in three quick games by the Cleveland Indians. "And until I do, it's going to be a topic of conversation and I'm fully aware of that. If you don't like it, pitch better. It hasn't happened yet and I definitely wanted it to happen this year and get that off my back. That wasn't the case, but I look forward to doing in 2017.''
Price understands the challenges of playing in Boston, especially when you are making $31 million per season and own the biggest contract in franchise history.
But he's confident the tide will change for him.
"I know everyone thinks we should still be playing right now,'' said Price, "but that's not the way it happened. I'll be prepared for 2017. I want to make these fans love me and I've got six more years to do it. I'm excited about it.''
New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third.
Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.
In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three.
Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies.
Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.
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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.
Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.
MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.