Red Sox, Porcello agree to 4-year, $82.5M contract
Boston — Before he even made his first start for the Boston Red Sox, Rick Porcello decided he wanted to stay.
The 26-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from Detroit in December and is scheduled to make his Red Sox debut on Wednesday, agreed to a four-year, $82.5 million contract with Boston on Tuesday that runs from 2016-19. The deal was announced hours after the team opened the season with an 8-0 victory over Philadelphia.
“In a short time, I have become very comfortable with the organization and my teammates,” Porcello said on the Players Tribune in a post that went online after the deal was announced. “We have a special thing going here, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
Acquired from the Tigers in a four-player deal that sent Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit, Porcello said he spent time with Red Sox veterans Mike Napoli, David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia at the team’s winter event and talked about trying to win a World Series in 2015.
“What struck me was that it wasn’t discussed like it was a goal, but rather an expectation,” Porcello wrote. “I continued to see this overwhelming commitment from my teammates, my manager, my coaches, the front office and ownership. I knew immediately I wanted to work in a place with that mentality.”
The Red Sox are seeking an ace after finishing last in the AL East in 2014 and loading up on hitters during the offseason. Clay Buchholz, who pitched seven innings of three-hit ball to earn the victory in the opener, and Wade Miley are the only starters to have won more than 15 games in a season.
Porcello has won at least 10 games in each of his six seasons. He went 15-13 with a career-best 3.43 ERA last year, helping the Tigers win the AL Central for the fourth straight year.
“From what I have been told, there’s no better place to win than in Boston,” Porcello wrote. “I can’t wait to do so with this group in front of the best fans in the world. We have a special thing going here, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
Porcello will make $12.5 million this season after agreeing to a one-year deal in January and avoiding arbitration. His new deal begins next year and includes a $500,000 signing bonus, $20 million in each of the first two seasons and $21 million apiece in 2018 and ‘19.