December 4, 2015 / 10:46 PM / in 2 years

Red Sox sign pitching ace Price to seven-year deal

(Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox officially confirmed on Friday that they have agreed to a seven-year contract with left-handed pitcher David Price, one of the top starting pitchers available in the free agent market.

Former Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning in game six of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Though financial details were not disclosed, The Boston Globe had reported on Tuesday that the deal was worth a record $217 million, narrowly topping Clayton Kershaw’s $215 million extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014.

Red Sox president of baseball operations David Dombrowski said in a statement that Price’s contract has been inked in through the 2022 season, with an opt-out clause after the 2018 season.

Price, a five-time All-Star, went 18-5 with a 2.45 earned run average in 32 starts for the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays last season.

The 30-year-old, who won the Cy Young Award winner as the top pitcher in the American League in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays, is 104-56 with a 3.09 ERA over eight seasons.

Price was considered the top pitching target this offseason along with Zack Greinke, who spent last season with the Dodgers.

However, it has been a hectic couple of seasons for the hard-throwing lefty.

Price was dealt by Tampa Bay to the Tigers at the 2014 trade deadline and spent one calendar year with Detroit, going 13-8 with a 2.90 ERA before the club fell out of contention and sent him to Toronto for three prospects at last season’s deadline.

He went on to play a big role in propelling the Blue Jays to their first playoff berth since 1993. Price was 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts as Toronto charged to the American League East title.

Former Detroit president and general manager Dombrowski was fired five days after making that Price trade and has since joined Boston as their president of baseball operations.

Price has good memories of pitching at Boston’s Fenway Park, going 6-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 11 career starts there.

The signing is the second major move this offseason by Boston to bolster a pitching staff that combined for a 4.39 ERA last season, third highest in the American League.

Last month, the Red Sox traded four prospects to San Diego for closer Craig Kimbrel.

Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles and Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both

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