Two offseasons ago, former Cy Young winner David Price signed the biggest deal in Red Sox history by putting his name on a seven-year/$217 million contract. Since then he hasn't exactly been embraced by the Boston faithful, as he's had fairly pedestrian numbers, dealt with injuries, stopped talking to local media, and gotten into an argument with Hall of Famer/color commentator Dennis Eckersley on the team plane. Needless to say, this is not what anyone envisioned back when Price joined the squad in December 2015. But massive contracts have a long history of going awry, especially in professional baseball.
Despite all that noise, Price was still reportedly instrumental in helping the organization land one of this year's big free agent fish in power hitting outfielder J.D. Martinez, who signed a 5-year/$110 million deal just a day ago.
As Price told USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale, he spoke to Martinez (an ex-teammate of his) throughout the past few months to convince him to join the team. It also turns out that J.D. joined the franchise despite the fact that Price was open and honest about the lofty expectations of the Boston's hardcore fan base.
"Oh yeah, he’ll get booed," Price laughingly told Nightengale. "I told JD he will love the guys here in this clubhouse, but also told him he’ll get booed. He’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but he’ll handle it. Besides, everyone gets booed. I heard Big Papi (David Ortiz) get booed many times in Fenway.
“I’m ready to turn that page, and start that new chapter.’’
Earlier in the interview, Price spoke about the intense pressure of playing in Beantown. "It is tough here. There’s just so much more negativity. I’ve never been one for negative stuff. I like surrounding myself by positive people," he said. "Even if my wife starts talking negatively, I let her know. I just can’t stand it."
Oh well. If Martinez hits like he did in Arizona he has nothing to worry about. If he hits like he did in Houston then, yeah, he's going to get shat upon. That's most places, but especially Boston/NY/Philadelphia, for ya.