By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
David Price has mostly indicated that he doesn’t plan on opting out of the remaining four years of his deal with the Boston Red Sox. But now he’s leaving the door slightly ajar for that possibility.
The constantly embattled lefty went on the record for another new interview. He did it with the godfather of Boston Sports Media Negativity™, Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. And somehow, Price … did just fine. There’s nothing obvious to pick apart this time. Give the likes of the “Sports Vulture” Adam Jones a few hours, though, and my brethren will certainly find something.
To me, though, the important takeaway is that Price, while still mostly committed to the Red Sox, isn’t totally shutting down the idea of potentially opting out after 2018.
“I’m not going to sit here and say there’s zero percent chance when there’s always a chance of anything, but that’s nothing that I’m thinking about or putting any thought to, or talking to anyone else about,” Price said. “I expect to win and I expect to do that here.”
At the risk of reading too much into that comment, Price has made it clear now that he’s less than 100 percent in on staying with the Red Sox beyond 2018. He intends to stay, he expects to stay (and, hopefully, win), but he’s not going to definitively confirm it just yet. He’s not necessarily thinking about it during the season, but who’s to say another October swoon wouldn’t lead him to start thinking about it?
Price has, at a minimum, left his situation open to wonder whether he’d feel better moving on and finding a new deal. But that would likely come with taking some kind of pay-cut, whether it’s in terms of total cash or average annual value. Perhaps he’ll end up feeling that’s worth it to be in a place that won’t bother him so much.
Because let’s be real, Boston at least bothers Price more than most other markets would. When he tells Shaughnessy it’s just a media perception that he “hates” Boston, or that he hasn’t heard Jim Murray’s impression of him on Felger & Mazz, or that he doesn’t have any problems with the whole experience, he can’t possibly be completely honest. But if he does indeed opt in, that would at least prove that the perception of Price is exaggerated, or that he’s willing to live with the less desirable aspects of playing for the Red Sox (big-time pressure, aggressive media, segments of angry fans) to get the more desirable parts (the opportunity to win a World Series, lots and lots of money).
Like the general perception of how Price feels about Boston, the meaning behind his statement about opting out may be overblown or inaccurate. It’s not like he needs to commit to anything right now, anyway, or that he’s going to disparage his own team during the season.
But it’s at least a little interesting that, publicly, the idea of Price opting out has risen above zero.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.