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David Price Announced as Red Sox's Starter for 2016 Opening Day

Boston Red Sox's David Price (24) works against the New York Yankees in the first inning of a spring training baseball game, Tuesday, March 15, 2016, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2017

The Boston Red Sox's major offseason addition will be on the mound when they begin their 2016 regular-season slate on April 4, as David Price was announced as the team's Opening Day starter Tuesday.  

The organization announced the decision on Twitter:

After finishing last in the American League East in 2015, Boston will begin its bounce-back attempt April 4 with a road tilt against the Cleveland Indians.

Following a 2015 season that saw Price finish second in the AL Cy Young Award voting by virtue of an 18-5 record with a 2.45 ERA split between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, the fact that the team selected him comes as little surprise.

Boston inked the 30-year-old lefty to a seven-year, $217 million contract during the offseason, and he is expected to be the workhorse and one constant in a rotation that is riddled with question marks otherwise.

The Red Sox mark Price's fourth team since 2014, as he spent the first six-plus years of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, and starting on Opening Day gives him a rare distinction, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via Red Sox manager of media relations and baseball information Jon Shestakofsky):

Price has consistently been among the best starters in baseball since debuting in 2008, as evidenced by his career mark of 104-56 with a 3.09 ERA.

He will have a tough challenge ahead of him, however, as the Tribe will counter with 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.

That is a marquee pitching matchup in every sense of the term, and it will certainly test both lineups as they look to get into regular-season form.

While the Opening Day result carries the same weight as any other game over the course of the season, Price will undoubtedly have some added pressure to live up to his contract and get Boston off to a great start after a miserable 2015 campaign.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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