The Boston Red Sox announced Monday that they extended Rick Porcello to a four-year contract, one that covers the 2016 through 2019 seasons.
Porcello will earn a pretty penny, making $82.5 million over the four seasons, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. He will make $20 million in 2016 and 2017 and $21 million in 2018 and 2019. He earned a $500,000 signing bonus as part of the deal.
The Red Sox and Porcello avoided arbitration already this offseason. Porcello makes $12.5 million this season. This deal is different than some of the other extensions we have seen this spring, mainly because it buys out four of Porcello's free agent seasons. That is why the overall guarantee is much higher.
After about four seasons of mediocracy from a pitching standpoint, Porcello established himself as a top-of-the-rotation piece last season with the Tigers, pitching to a 3.43 ERA, 3.67 FIP, and a 1.231 WHIP in 204 2/3 innings. In his 32 games (31 starts), Porcello registered a 129 to 41 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He led the American League in shutouts last season with three.
Porcello was swung to the Red Sox this offseason in the deal that landed Detroit outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
The Red Sox have a rotation that will be built to last. Of their current starters (including Joe Kelly, who is currently on the disabled list), just Justin Masterson is a free agent after this season. Clay Buchholz is also a free agent after this season barring two options through 2017. Wade Miley is signed through 2017 with an option for 2018. And, Joe Kelly has yet to hit arbitration, and isn't projected to hit free agency until 2018. By locking up Porcello, the Red Sox rotation likely won't change much in the years to come.