Red Sox

Jon Lester: David Price 'will figure out Yankees at some point'

Jon Lester: David Price 'will figure out Yankees at some point'

David Price's seemingly never-ending struggles vs the Yankees are bound to end at some point, at least according to one former Red Sox ace.

Following his most recent loss on July 1 to the Bronx Bombers, whom he has an 8.43 ERA against (44 earned runs, 47 innings) in nine starts as a member of the Red Sox, Price told reporters he needed to reinvent himself against the Yanks. "It's time for me to go back to that drawing board and reinvent myself against these guys," he said.

Former Red Sox southpaw Jon Lester, now with the Cubs, doesn't believe that's the case. He explained why at the All-Star Game on Tuesday.

"The reinventing thing I think gets a little overused," Lester told MassLive.com's Christopher Smith. "Because it's not like you're going out there and saying, 'OK, I'm throwing a split today and I've never thrown one.' So you're still working with the same pitches. It may be just sequence a little bit differently."

Lester also pointed out that Price is far from the only pitcher to have significant issues against a particular team.

"We all have trouble against teams," he said. "We all have that one team that kicks our ass and for whatever reason you can't figure it out. Sometimes it's better to go out there and go, 'You know what? Screw it. I'm not grinding this one. I'm just trying to execute one pitch at a time.' And a lot of times when that happens, you look up and you're like, 'Oh, man. I threw the ball pretty well tonight.'"

The Cubs lefty went on to discuss what goes through a pitcher's mind when they take the mound versus a team they historically struggle against.

"When you struggle against a team, it's kind of like, 'OK, when's it going to happen? I got through the first. Is it going to happen in the second? Now I got through the second. OK, now is it going to happen in the third?' Now all of a sudden, base hit to right. 'Damn, OK. Is this the inning?' A walk. 'Oh, man. Yankee Stadium. Got a righty up.' Boom. Three-run homer. And now you're like, 'OK, here it is.' Now you look up and you've given up six."

As much as it could be a real mental issue, Lester is confident Price is about to turn it around, and that "reinventing himself" isn't necessary.

"No, I don't think David Price needs to reinvent himself. I think he's a pretty darn good pitcher and he's been one for a while. I'm sure from what I've heard about him as far as his work ethic and how he goes about his craft, I'm sure he'll figure out the Yankees at some point."

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Joe Kelly explains why he chose Dodgers over Red Sox in free agency

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USA TODAY Sports

Joe Kelly explains why he chose Dodgers over Red Sox in free agency

Joe Kelly confirmed what many expected: The Los Angeles Dodgers made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

The free agent pitcher recently agreed to a three-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers, opting not to re-sign with the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

The rumor was that L.A. was willing to offer the veteran right-hander a three-year deal that Boston was not. Turns out that's exactly what happened.

Here's Kelly explaining to WEEI's Rob Bradford why he chose the Dodgers over the Red Sox:

"I don't know if there was one moment besides me saying, 'This is the team I want to play for. This is the team that gave me a three-year deal at $25 million,' " Kelly said on the "Bradfo Sho" podcast. 

"It wasn't like I saw the writing on the wall before that. So, I guess the moment where you hear the three-year deal and no other teams are at the three-year mark ... it was like, 'All right, well, I've been really, really involved with speaking with L.A. and understanding the philosophies and behind-the-scenes stuff for pitching.' 

"I was already intrigued, so I guess if you had to put a moment on it, it was that."

Kelly obviously had some strong ties to Boston after his stellar postseason performance helped the Red Sox defeat his new team in the 2018 World Series.

But the 30-year-old's ex-teammates understood him returning to his hometown team (Kelly grew up in Riverside County, Calif.) for a better paycheck and a significant role.

"Brock (Holt) and his wife FaceTimed me and my wife at like seven in the morning, and he was like, ‘Dang, you’re super, duper, duper rich!' " Kelly told Bradford. "And I just started laughing.

I’m obviously so close with those guys and everything was positive from those guys. They understand what’s the best for my family, career."

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Why Red Sox fans shouldn't be concerned about Boston's $12M luxury tax

Why Red Sox fans shouldn't be concerned about Boston's $12M luxury tax

We'd understand if you cringed at the news.

The Boston Red Sox owe nearly $12 million in luxury taxes after having the highest payroll in baseball last season? They're one of only two MLB teams to pay the tax? Does this mean they have to shed payroll in 2019 and trade away Rick Porcello, Xander Bogaerts or Jackie Bradley Jr.?

Not so fast. Here's a little context behind Boston's luxury tax that should make Sox fans feel better.

First: The Red Sox's $11.95 million bill actually is low by historic standards -- the lowest since 2003, per Forbes' Maury Brown.

Boston also is paying way less than notoriously big spenders like the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, who have paid steep luxury taxes over the last five years without having to blow up their rosters. (The Yankees are the gray bars in the graphic below; the Dodgers are light blue.)

But perhaps most importantly, the Red Sox's luxury tax is a small fraction of the $239.5 million payroll they racked up in 2018 -- 4.99 percent, to be exact. And as The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham points out, Boston has spent more on less impactful investments.

We haven't stated the obvious yet, either: The Sox just won the 2018 World Series. Every team in the league would give up less than five percent of their payroll in an instant to win a championship.

Sure, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski may consider trimming his roster this offseason. And an additional penalty did drop the Boston's top pick in the 2019 MLB amateur draft by 10 spots, from 33 to 43.

But the Red Sox are world champions and one of the league's favorites to repeat in 2019. We'll take that trade-off any day.

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