BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox and AL Cy Young runner-up David Price have agreed to terms on a seven-year free-agent deal worth $217 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the deal — the largest ever for a pitcher — is pending a physical. It is expected to be announced on Friday, the person told the AP.
A left-hander who was the AL’s top pitcher in 2012 and the runner-up twice in seven full major league seasons, Price has a 3.09 ERA with 1,372 strikeouts and 104 wins.
Choosing the Red Sox reunites Price with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who until this August was the Detroit Tigers’ general manager. Dombrowski has had a hand in all three of Price’s moves the past two years.
After spending his entire career in Tampa Bay, Price was acquired by Detroit at the 2014 trade deadline. A year later, the Tigers traded him to the Blue Jays at the July 31 non-waiver deadline and Price helped Toronto reach the playoffs for the first time since 1993.
Now he will try to help turn around a team that has finished last in the AL East in three of the last four seasons. (The Red Sox won the World Series in 2013.) On its way to a 78-84, last-place finish in 2015, Boston brought in Dombrowski and he quickly went to work rebuilding the once-proud ballclub.
Dombrowski traded a package of prospects to San Diego for closer Craig Kimbrel last month.
And this week he got someone Kimbrel can save games for.
Price bolsters a rotation that has lacked an ace since the Red Sox balked at the asking price for Jon Lester, who signed a six-year, $155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs. Twelve different pitchers started at least one game for the Red Sox in 2015.
Price joins a rotation that, barring injuries and trades, is expected to include Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buchholz. Joe Kelly, Steven Wright and Henry Owens could bolster the bullpen, fill in as starters or serve as trade bait.
The 30-year-old went 18-5 with a 2.45 earned-run average last season for the Blue Jays and Tigers, including a 9-1 regular-season record with Toronto. He went 1-2 through four post-season appearances (three starts) as a Blue Jay.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman posted a lengthy goodbye message to Price on his Instagram account along with a photo of the two pitchers Tuesday night. The 24-year-old Stroman thanked the veteran Price for taking him under his wing during his short time with Toronto.
"For that, I am forever thankful," Stroman wrote. "Watching and critiquing my bullpens. Treating everyone with class and respect. Putting your teammates first. Showing up early, and staying late. Forming a bond with every single guy on the team.
"I could go on forever."
Toronto outfielder Kevin Pillar also shared a message for Price.
"Congrats DP â†•DAVIDPrice14 you are now my Frenemy," Pillar wrote on his Twitter account.
The Blue Jays gave up left-handed pitching prospects Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt in the July trade.
— With files from The Canadian Press