Yanks have 'no reaction' to Price deal
Club remains in market for free-agent starting pitcher
NEW YORK -- David Price played a supporting role in one of the most memorable moments to date at the new Yankee Stadium, patiently waiting for the applause to die down as Derek Jeter circled the bases for his 3,000th hit in July of 2011.
Price didn't mind being a part of history, even agreeing to sign baseballs with Jeter to commemorate the event. The left-hander will continue to be front and center in the Yankees' minds for years to come, agreeing Tuesday to a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Red Sox.
Though managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has said that he would like to add at least one starting pitcher before next season, the Yankees were never firmly connected to the 30-year-old Price, who has bounced from the Rays to the Tigers to the Blue Jays and now to Boston in the past two years.
Price once said he would never shave his beard to sign with the Yankees (a stance he later relaxed), and has pitched the equivalent of a full Major League season against the Bombers: 31 games (30 starts), going 13-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 191 2/3 innings, walking 62 and striking out 173.
"Beating the Yankees is a confidence booster," Price said this past season. "It doesn't matter where they are in the standings. When you beat those guys, it always feels a little more special."
The Yankees hit Price well in 2014 (1-2, 5.76 ERA in five starts) and pounded him for eight runs and 10 hits in their first meeting this past season April 22 at snowy Comerica Park, sending him to the clubhouse after 2 1/3 innings.
"Price, to me, is one of the best lefties in the game," Carlos Beltran said that day. "Being able to do what we did, it gives us a lot of confidence. When the offense is good and everything is working well, we're capable of doing that."
But Price seemed like a different pitcher once he moved north, leading the Blue Jays on their second-half push to the American League East crown. He blanked the Yanks over seven innings Aug. 8 at Yankee Stadium, then followed with 7 1/3 quality innings against them in a 4-3 Yankees victory six days later.
Price then bested the Yankees -- who struggled mightily against left-handed pitching in the second half -- Sept. 11 and Sept. 21 as he won his final five starts and finished 18-5.
Of the current Yankees, Chase Headley (8-for-19), Brian McCann (10-for-29, three homers) and Jacoby Ellsbury (24-for-68, one homer) have enjoyed measures of success against Price, while Mark Teixeira (13-for-64, three homers), Beltran (6-for-24) and Brett Gardner (6-for-29) have struggled.
General manager Brian Cashman told the New York Post that Price's deal with Boston would prompt "no reaction" in the Bronx, as a knee-jerk reaction to chase a stud free agent like right-hander Zack Greinke appears unlikely.
Because of luxury tax concerns and other issues, the Yankees are not in the market to pay $30 million-plus for a player in 2016, instead waiting for their large commitments to Teixeira, Beltran, CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez to expire over the next two seasons.
But they could use starting pitching; mindful of the injury-related questions in their rotation, the Yankees are said to have checked in with the Braves concerning right-hander Shelby Miller. They have rebuffed Atlanta's request to part with right-hander Luis Severino.
The Yanks are also monitoring free agents Wei-Yin Chen and Jeff Samardzija, both of whom figure to receive deals that slot below the five years and $110 million that Jordan Zimmermann received from the Tigers.