By: Maren Angus
In 2016, the Boston Red Sox will become David Price’s fourth team, third in two years. By smiles on his former managers’ faces and the disappointment in their voices, the Red Sox are getting a favorite not just among fans but also in the clubhouse.
“They are getting one of the best, no doubt about it,” said Toronto manager John Gibbons. “His career to this point speaks for itself. He is one of the elite pitchers in the game and always has been.”
After the Blue Jays acquired at the trade deadline, he went 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts. According to Gibbons he was what they needed to go over the top.
“If we didn’t acquire him, there’s a good chance we probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs, he was that good for us,” said Gibbons. “He was a uniter in our clubhouse. He was a natural fit from day one. He really helped energize some things, we were a solid team but he put us over the top.”
The Tennessee native was the first pick of the 2007 MLB Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Ray and made his major league debut in a relief appearance in 2008. Price spent five full seasons in Tampa Bay and parts of two others, won the American League Cy Young in 2012 and compiled a 82-65 record and a 3.08 ERA.
Before the 2014 trade deadline, the Rays decided to trade Price to the Tigers before he could test free agency. While in Detroit, he went 13-8 with a 3.06 ERA.
Detroit skipper Brad Ausmus had the opportunity to manage the former Vanderbilt star for one season. The dedication Price has to the game of baseball is what caught Ausmus attention and what shocked him when he decided to stay in the American League.
“D.P. is a guy that would come out early with position players and hit with them. He really enjoyed the game of baseball,” Ausmus said. “He was like a kid. He wanted to have those little things around him to entertain him, whether it’s cribbage with his teammates or taking batting practice, early batting practice with his teammates. I always felt like he wanted to experience that. That’s the only thing that surprised me about the signing is I thought he would go to a National League club.”
The Blue Jays open at home against the Red Sox on April 8, 2016, a matchup that will most likely see a Price start.