The staff here at TBOH bringing you Philadelphia Phillies coverage year-round was polled for their choices on the biggest awards in Major League Baseball for the 2015 season, and our consensus selection as the American League Cy Young Award winner was free agent starting pitcher David Price.
Price, who split his season between the Detroit Tigers, for whom he made 21 starts, and the Toronto Blue Jays, with whom he made 11 starts, was named as the choice of four of our six staff members. The other two votes each went to Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel.
The big lefty became a free agent for the first time in his career this fall, and is expected to command one of the largest contracts in the history of the sport. Having turned 30 years old at the end of August, he is right in the midst of his prime years, and should have at least four strong seasons ahead of him.
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Of course, it is likely to take more than four seasons to land Price. His contract price will likely approach something like a 7-year deal north of $200 million. Among the reported leading suitors for the free agent are the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, his former Blue Jays club, and their division rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
Combined between Detroit and Toronto, Price went 18-5 with an MLB-leading 2.45 ERA, a 1.076 WHIP, a 2.78 FIP, and a 161 ERA+ mark. He allowed just 190 hits in 220.1 innings, and had a dominating 225/47 K:BB ratio.
Faced with his pending free agent status and their own fading playoff hopes, the Tigers dealt Price to Toronto at this year’s trade deadline in exchange for a trio of pitching prospects in Daniel Norris, Jairo Labourt, and Matt Boyd. It marked a 2nd straight trade deadline deal for Price, who was sent to Detroit from Tampa almost exactly a year earlier.
Price was the #1 overall pick by Tampa Bay in the first round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. He joined the Rays’ staff just over a year later, helping with the club’s push to the AL East crown and the American League pennant. He would appear in both Game Two and Game Five of the 1980 World Series against the Phillies.
Price has appeared in just two regular season games against the Phils during his career. In a 2009 start, he was torched for 10 runs, five of those earned, over just 4.1 innings in a loss at Tropicana Field. He gained revenge with a 2012 four-hitter in which he struck out eight across seven dominating innings at Citizens Bank Park.
Winner of the 2012 AL Cy Young Award and runner-up in 2010, Price was an American League All-Star for the 5th time in his career this past season. The official MLB Cy Young Award winners in both leagues will be announced on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015.
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