Friday, June 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

David Price: Saving playoff wins for Red Sox

BOSTON — For all the money the Red Sox are paying David Price, the Boston fans don't just want a pitcher who gives the team a chance to win every five days or wind up among the Cy Young contenders.

With a seven-year, $217 million contract, the Red Sox are expecting playoff wins. And that's the one thing Price hasn't delivered.

"I think I was just saving all my postseason wins for the Red Sox," Price, 0-7 with a 5.27 ERA in eight career postseason starts, said Friday during his introductory news conference. "I know good things are going to happen to me in October. That just hasn't been the case thus far."

Despite winning it all in 2013 — their third World Series championship in 10 years — the Red Sox have finished last in the East in three of the past four seasons. Their rebuilding began in August when they brought in Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations, and this week he made his big move.

The deal with Price — "one of the best pitchers in baseball, a true No. 1," Dombrowski said — gives the 2012 Cy Young winner while with the Rays a chance to opt out after three years. It also goes against the club's desire not to commit to long-term deals for pitchers who have turned 30. "There are exceptions to any rule, and certainly this is one of the most exceptional pitchers," owner John Henry said.

The AL's top pitcher in 2012 and two-time runnerup in seven full seasons, Price, 30, has a 3.09 ERA with 1,372 strikeouts and 104 wins. He went 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA with Detroit and Toronto in 2015, striking out 225.

Price was asked about his past trouble with Boston's David Ortiz. When Price was with Tampa Bay, he criticized the Red Sox DH for admiring a postseason homer and slowly rounding the bases. He hit Ortiz with a pitch the next season, benches emptied and the two called each other names. But Ortiz said this week that the feud was over. Price said he's looking forward to playing with "arguably the greatest DH to ever play the game," adding, "I'm ready to be one of his really good friends."

REPORTS: GREINKE TO D'BACKS: Right-hander Zack Greinke agreed to a six-year, $206.5 million deal with Arizona, according to multiple reports. His deal contains deferred money. The $34.4 million average will be the sport's highest, topping Price's $31 million with the Red Sox. Greinke, 32, led the majors in ERA last season while with the Dodgers.

ReportS: Cubs get Lackey: Cardinals free agent right-hander John Lackey, 37, agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal with the rival Cubs, according to multiple reports.

Bonds Back: Barry Bonds is returning to baseball full time as hitting coach for the Marlins, joining the staff of new manager Don Mattingly. The media-shy, steroids-tainted home run king made a rare conference call appearance to discuss his hiring, which raised his profile just as balloting is under way for Hall of Fame voting. "I'm a Hall of Fame baseball player with no doubt in my mind, no doubt in my heart," said Bonds, 51. "God knows that. That's all that matters to me."

Rays Promotions: The Rays made a series of front-office promotions, naming Peter Bendix director, baseball development; Shawn Hoffman director, scouting analytics; Kevin Ibach director, pro scouting; Josh Kalk director, pitching research and development; and Brian Plexico director, baseball systems.

Mets: GM Sandy Alderson, 68, has "very treatable" cancer and will begin chemotherapy this week, the team said. It did not reveal what kind of cancer.

White Sox: Former Rays catcher Dioner Navarro, 31, agreed to a one-year, $4 million contract.

Comments
Rays journal: Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Published: 06/20/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Published: 06/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Published: 06/20/18