Mid-afternoon in Boston on Sunday, reports broke out that the Red Sox and new starting pitcher Rick Porcello were unable to reach terms on a new contract before the Sox season had started. It appears that was a bit of a smoke screen as less the 12 hours later, another report surfaced that the two had finally agreed to terms on a brand, spanking new 4 year, $82.5 million dollar contract...
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Good for Rick Porcello. But is it good for the Red Sox? I'm willing to bet 90 percent of Red Sox Nation and baseball fans across the country completely disagree with this deal with someone who has only had one good season. And technically you wouldn't be wrong in thinking that. But why don't I tell you why I think it's a good deal for all...
First off, I can understand why you may think it's a little crazy to give that kind of money to Porcello. In six seasons, Porcello has compiled a 4.31 ERA with his best season coming last year when he pitched to the tune of a 3.43 ERA. He's never been a strikeout pitcher, relying on a sinker to bury the ball in the ground and look for outs. Last year he averaged a 5.8 strikeouts per 9 innings. He's won over 15 games one time, being last year. He's only pitched over 200 innings one time as well, that also being last season. So it's hard to argue against, at $82.5 million dollars, the majority of you say that's a bad deal for the all involved. But I'm in the minority. And here's why...
He entered the big leagues fairly quick, debuting as a 20 year old. So in six seasons, what does that tell you? He's oonly 26 years old. Just starting to reach the beginning of the prime of his baseball career. He's won at. Least 10 games in all six of his seasons. He won a career high 15 games last season. He lead the in complete game shutouts with 3, a difficult feat in today's baseball. I believe he's finally learning how to pitch and now playing for a manager that has been an extremely successful pitching coach in his own respect, I believe that alone is worth what they gave Porcello.
He was essentially playing with the Sox on a 1 year, $12.5 million dollar deal. So if he ended up having a monster year with Boston and reached the free agent market, he would more then likely command more then the $20 million dollar average the Sox will be paying him. Pitching, actually good pitching, is at a premium in baseball and owners open the checkbook when it comes to premium pitching. Am I saying he's worth $20 million dollars a year? No. I don't think any athlete is worth thay kind of money but that's topic for another discussion. But the fact of the matter is the Sox are paying a young pitcher, coming off a good year and trending in the right direction and could have a very good year. He's learning how to pitch year by year, learning how to use his corners, painting the black if you will. On top of all of this, the Sox are not handcuffed with this deal because it's only a 4 year deal. The Sox do not like to give long term commitments to players (prospects and Dustin Pedroia aside). So to combat that, they give players a higher annual average salary which I have absolutely no problem with. So, even as much as it would fry my ass if he were terrible, they won't be paying him long term, as like I said, because it's only a 4 year deal. If he does have a successful 4 year run, the Sox could potentially pay him again and it's also a win for Porcello if he pitches well because he could cash in on another big contract.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
This is a good deal, believe it or not, for the Sox and the Vermont native. It's also a bit of a dream scenario for Porcello. Pitching in front of the New England area fans, as he's from New England. He's got to prove to be worth the dollars he will be getting and I think he wants to prove he's worth the investment. Those to me alone are enough to justify it. On top of that, I believe he's getting better with age and he will be pitching for the Sox as he's entering his prime. As of right now, this is a win win situation for both sides. He went on to say in a post that he wrote to break the news of the deal that he "likes what the Sox are building" and that he "looks forward to what the future brings" wearing Red Sox and it's obvious the feeling was mutual.
What do you think?
Follow me at @AWash013 on twitter or follow my blog at afterfurtherreview.sportsblog.com