Some light is shed on David Price’s rant at Dennis Eckersley

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Last Thursday Red Sox pitcher David Price confronted Hall of Famer and NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley during a team flight to Toronto. The circumstances of the argument were not clear at the time and at least one report said that it was a “back and forth,” presumably about some critical comments Eckersley made on the air about Price.

Today Rob Bradford of WEEI.com sheds a bit more light on the situation. It doesn’t reflect well on Price.

When asked about it yesterday — Price only talks to the media on days he starts — Price said he was “standing up for [his] teammates,” and that “whatever crap I catch for that, I’m fine with it.” Some with the Red Sox, however, found Price’s “standing up” to be pretty uncomfortable. And it sounds it:

While initial reports suggested the incident involved a back-and-forth between the two, those familiar with the situation point out that it was Price who did all the talking, with the pitcher waiting for Eckersley before pretty much putting the analyst on stage for the sake of the teammates Price thought he was standing up for.

Price is kind of an odd duck. On the one hand he’s always been pretty publicly self-critical of his performance and at times downright self-effacing, as when he tweeted some lighthearted stuff which acknowledged his postseason struggles last winter. Lately, however, he’s been seen to pick fights with media members — Eckersley here, Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com a few weeks back — due to what he considered to be critical comments. Is the former behavior an act and is he, in fact, thin-skinned, or is something else going on?

No one not in Price’s head can fully answer that question, but it’s hard to see why Price believes putting individual members of the media on blast in such a fashion is a good idea. For one thing, it’s unreasonable for him to think that either he or his teammates are above criticism at times, at least as long as it’s focused on baseball and not personal attacks. For another it, inevitably, leads to more criticism, not less, which seems to be . . . not what Price wants.

It’s Price’s life and career and he can do whatever he wants with it, but the list of guys who have taken the sort of media relations approach he’s taken of late and done well by it is short. The list of guys who have managed to pull it off in Boston is non-existent.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.