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Alex Speier

John Henry’s only free agent visit was to David Price

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (left) and Red Sox owner John Henry at a game in August.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

You may have heard . . . the Red Sox reached an agreement with a pitcher.

In case there’s any mystery in the aftermath of the record-setting seven-year, $217 million agreement with David Price, make no mistake: The Red Sox identified the lefthander as their clear top priority. Red Sox principal owner John Henry, who also owns the Globe, met with one and only one free agent this offseason, according to multiple major league sources, and it was Price.

The meeting took place last month, between the general managers meetings and Thanksgiving. Henry, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, GM Mike Hazen, and manager John Farrell traveled to meet with Price and his agent, Bo McKinnis, in Price’s Nashville-area home.

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The Red Sox entered the offseason convinced that Price was the pitcher they wanted at the front of their rotation. They wanted to make no secret of that fact in conversations with the lefthander.

If the pursuit of him meant outspending the field, the team was prepared to do that. The Red Sox’ bid was $27 million more than the runner-up Cardinals offered, Nick Cafardo reported.

Peter Gammons reported (via Twitter) that the Red Sox opened with an offer of $200 million and then upped the ante to $217 million to get the deal done when they heard of the Cardinals’ offer.

It seems like a lot of money — and it is — but considering that MLB revenues have more than tripled since Kevin Brown broke the $100 million threshold, the arrival of the $200 million pitcher arguably has occurred more deliberately than expected.


Follow Alex Speier on Twitter at @alexspeier.