It wasn’t too long ago when the St. Louis Cardinals were interested in arguably the most coveted free-agent pitcher in the market. His name: David Price. The 30-year old left-hander made his debut with the Tampa Bay Rays back in September of 2008, and since then, has accumulated a 104-56 record and an ERA of 3.09.
But over the past few free-agency periods, especially this most recent one, he had gone on record talking about what type of team he would like to go to.
And now it seems pretty clear what type of team he was talking about.
“I was talking about the Cardinals. I was talking about the Cubs. Honestly, I don’t think I was talking about the Red Sox,” said Price, who signed a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, ironically the team who he was not referring to.
Currently, there is no exact number in regards to how close the Cardinals were to the $200 million mark that Price was after, and how close the bidding war between the Cardinals, Cubs, and Red Sox was. Apparently, the Cardinals were just behind the Red Sox, and in the end, that was enough for the lefty to sign with Boston.
But money wasn’t the only reason Price wanted to join the Red Sox.
“The chance to stay in the American League, to spend my entire career here,” Price said. “That was definitely enticing. Not a lot of guys do that. Especially they get to free agency and they’re going to head to the NL. I get that. This is my comfort level. Not that I wouldn’t have been comfortable in St. Louis. I would have. It’s a great organization. I see how much fun those guys have, how close they are.”
And despite not signing with them, the veteran pitcher understands the type of baseball culture there is within the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
“I feel like every year they battle through,” Price said. “They’re going to have some big injuries and they rarely use it as an excuse and they still win 95 to 100 games and play good baseball. I took notice of that over the years. I’m still a fan of St. Louis and the Cardinals.”
In the end, St. Louis signed veteran Mike Leake, and they still are projected to have one of the best pitching rotations in all of baseball. There’s no telling what having Price would have been like for the Cardinals, but in the end, both the Red Sox and the Cardinals got top free-agent pitchers to boost their rotation.