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Archive for the ‘MLB’ Category

Red Sox Create International Incident Over Junichi Tazawa Signing ?

Posted by Mike on December 5, 2008

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From Sean McAdam:

The Red Sox scouting and signing of Junichi Tazawa has created a controversy, angering baseball officials here and in Japan.

The Nippon Pro Baseball league released a statement earlier that was sharply critical of teams that had shown interest in Tazawa, suggesting they had violated a “gentleman’s agreement,” by signing a Japanese amateur player and labeling their actions “truly regrettable.”

Last week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the New York Times [NYT] his team considered Tazawa “hands off.”

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein insisted his team did nothing that violated any rules or agreements and pointed out that about 50 amateur players – none, admittedly, with as high a profile as Tazawa – had previously signed with major league organizations.

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Youkilis And Lester Next ?

Posted by Mike on December 5, 2008

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From Buster Olney:

Heard this: With Dustin Pedroia now locked up to a long-term deal, the Red Sox are hoping to get long-term contracts worked out with Kevin Youkilis and Jon Lester; colleague Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox may have something wrapped up with Youkilis quickly.

Also, this one comes as bit of a surprise, but unlikely they will ever get serious into the bidding for Sabathia. More than likely, the Sox just want to hear what Sabathia’a representatives have too say, and they may try to drive up the price.

The Red Sox are meeting with CC Sabathia sometime in the next few days, and so will GM Brian Cashman, who reportedly met with Scott Boras, the agent for Mark Teixeira and Derek Lowe. It’s unclear whether the Red Sox are seriously interested in trying to compete with the Yankees’ $140 million offer to Sabathia, or if they are just doing their due diligence and preparing alternatives in their winter shopping.

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Don’t Expect Paul Byrd Back

Posted by Mike on December 5, 2008

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Even though the Red Sox have offered arbitration to pitcher Paul Byrd, don’t expect him back, reports Ken Rosenthal:

The Red Sox offered salary arbitration to right-hander Paul Byrd knowing that he wants to pitch for a team close to his home in Atlanta. Byrd, 38, is virtually certain to decline the offer. If he can’t pitch for the Braves, he could attempt to sign with one of the Florida teams, the Marlins or Rays, or one of the mid-Atlantic teams, the Orioles or Nationals …

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Traitor!

Posted by Mike on December 5, 2008

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Born 1975, in New York, then when he was four-years-old, Alex Rodriguez and his family moved to the Dominican Republic for three years, before they eventually returned to the states, and moved to Miami, where A-Rod lived until he was drafted #1 overall by the Seattle Mariners in 1993. For most of his life, minus three-years, Rodriguez has lived in America, but when the 2009 World Baseball Classic is played next spring, A-Rod is going to play for the Dominican Republic team, according to Yahoo! Sports. This was a big dilemma when the first baseball classic was played, as you may remember A-Rod, didn’t know who to play for, the country he was born in: America, or his parents native country: Dominican Republic. The always P.R. conscience Rodriguez waited for the last minute and eventually played for team USA, now it appears he has had a change of heart. What caused the change ? Has anti-American Madonna gotten into his ear ? The change is just a bit peculiar. A-Rod is allowed to play for either team, but to flip-flop back and forth just makes him look like the arrogant jerk that he is. More from Yahoo!:

Alex Rodriguez, who nearly sat out the inaugural World Baseball Classic because he did not want to choose between playing for his native United States or the Dominican Republic, the country of his parents’ birth, is changing uniforms for the 2009 Classic.

The New York Yankees third baseman, who was on a star-studded U.S team that failed to advance to the semifinals of the first WBC, plans to play for the Dominican Republic this spring, according to Dominican slugger David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox.

Ortiz is hosting a charity golf tournament in the Dominican city of Punta Cana this weekend. He said Rodriguez, who is playing in the tournament, is expected to announce his decision at the function. Rodriguez and Ortiz are close friends.

“He wants to play for the Dominican team,” Ortiz said by telephone Thursday. “We’ll talk about it now after he gets here, and he’ll probably announce it here.”

Ortiz said he has not spoken recently with Rodriguez about his intentions, but that as far back as the All-Star Game last July in New York, he said A-Rod had expressed a desire to play for the Dominican Republic.

Posted in Blogroll, MLB, Yankees | 2 Comments »

You Can Forget About Dontrelle Willis In Boston

Posted by Mike on December 4, 2008

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From NJ.com:

It seems to be the week for shortstop roulette on the Hot Stove, and the latest is that the Pirates have sent Jack Wilson to the Tigers.

The teams had been in discussions for a while, but according to a person familiar with the deal, it is done. It’s unclear what the Pirates get in return.

In the past couple of days, the Padres dealt SS Khalil Greene to the Cardinals and the Giants appear to have signed SS Edgar Renteria. Free-agent SS Rafael Furcal sounds as if he’s about to sign with the Oakland A’s.

The Detroit Tigers were one of very few viable places the Red Sox could have shipped shortstop Julio Lugo too. Now with the St Louis Cardinals acquiring Khalil Greene earlier today, its looking very likely that Lugo will be back in Boston next season; much to the chagrin of most Red Sox fans. With Lugo taking home around $9 Million a season, the Sox would need to either eat a large portion of his salary, or swap him for another bad salary, and the Tigers presented the best match for them.

UPDATE: From the Post-Gazette.com:

12:46 p.m.: No one has informed Wilson or his agent, Page Odle, of any trade. This is significant because Wilson’s limited no-trade clause includes Detroit, and he would have to give his approval. No such approval has happened yet.

12:52 p.m.: Frank Coonelly, the Pirates’ president, denied that Wilson has been traded.

12:58 p.m.: This is what is known: The Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers continued talks regarding Wilson throughout the week, but Detroit re-emerged last night with a fresh offer, one that was enough to cause some buzz within the Pirates’ front office. That, apparently, has turned up the heat on both parties. One source a few minutes ago told me, “I know that the Dodgers are still players in this.” There still are no names on the Tigers’ side.

Posted in Blogroll, MLB | 1 Comment »

Could Manny Ramirez Accept Arbitration ?

Posted by Mike on December 4, 2008

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From Buster Olney:

Executives around baseball wonder if that will change in the next few days, because they are having a difficult time envisioning how Ramirez would make more in salary in 2009 than if he accepted arbitration. He made $20 million last season — although the present-day value was just a little more than $17 million — and following a historic performance in which Ramirez hit .396 for the Dodgers in two months, driving in 53 runs in 53 games, his arbitration award would be breathtaking. Boras would be in position to set a new and stunning standard through that process, and could ask for A-Rod money.

But accepting arbitration would represent a staggering surrender for Ramirez, who had hoped for a nine-figure contract, and for Boras, who has been talking a deal for as long as six years for the 36-year-old outfielder. One year for $28 million is a long way from 4 years, $100 million, or six years, $150 million. Some friends of Ramirez do not believe that he will allow Boras to take arbitration, as tempting as it may be. “This is not going to be an easy time for Scott,” a friend of Ramirez said.

The Dodgers now are perfectly positioned. They have twice dangled Ramirez opportunities for record-setting contracts — the first being the $45 million offer, which would have established a new standard for outfielders, and the second being the arbitration. If Ramirez accepts the arbitration, the Dodgers would have only a one-year obligation on the aging slugger, and while none of the Dodgers staffers would ever say it out loud, keeping Ramirez on a one-year deal, with the carrot of free agency in front of him, might be the best way to keep him running hard.

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Wanna Buy Youk’s Undies ?

Posted by Mike on December 4, 2008

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What better gift could there be under your Christmas tree this season than a pair of Kevin Youkilis’s underwear ? I know what your saying, where could I possibly get such a great gift ? Well, according to the Inside Track, Phil Castinetti of SportsWorld is auctioning off not only, Youk’s dirty draws, but also A-Rod and Josh Beckett as well. The better question is, where did Castinetti get these draws, and who will buy’em? More from the Inside Track:

Phil Castinetti of SportsWorld in Saugus has gotten his mitts on some All-Star undies – A-Rod’s, Kevin Youkilis and Josh Beckett’s – and he’s selling them on eBay starting today.

So, Phil, are the Major League unmentionables actually game-used?

“Oh, they’re used,” he said.

Ew.

BTW, A-Rod’s UnderArmor is size XL. But since he’s dating Madonna you already knew that.

The bidding starts at $9.99 and you can see all the boys’ BVDs on eBay starting today – just plug SportsWorld1986 into the search engine.

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Whose Next ?

Posted by Mike on December 4, 2008

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With the re-signing of Dustin Pedroia, the inevitable question comes who do the Red Sox re-sign next ? Kevin Youkilis ? Jonathan Papelbon ? Jason Bay ? Youkilis and Papelbon are among the young core of Red Sox players who become arbitration-eligible this offseason. With arbitration brings the potential for huge raises for these players from a year-to-year basis. The Sox don’t have too worry just yet about Jon Lester he isn’t arbitration-eligible until next season. But, the payroll flexibility that the Red Sox have had over the past couple seasons because of their young players, is about to end. Last season, Youkilis made $3 Million dollars, and if he hits arbitration he could get a raise to $8 or $9 Million dollar range for next season. And Papelbon only took home $775,000 last season, with his 41 saves will bring a pretty hefty raise, possibilty into the $7 or $8 Million dollar range. Not quite the bargain he used too be. So, an effective way for the Red Sox to keep these salary numbers down and keep these two players here long-term might be to sign to an extension just like they did with Pedroia. But, these two might not be as easy to sign as Pedroia was. The 2008 MVP signed what looks like to everyone as a fair deal that worked out very well for the Red Sox, but they can’t expect to get Youkilis and Papelbon signed to deals like that. The barometer for Papelbon is going to be Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera. In 2007 Rivera took home $10.5 Million, and last season he made a whopping $15 Million. Papelbon considers himself in the elite status that Rivera is in, and he will want a deal somewhere around $10 or $12 Million a season, if he is to sign an extension. Otherwise, Papelbon and his agent will be happy to go to arbitration every year until he hits free-agency. Last season, K-Rod was awarded $10 Million in arbitration, and Papelbon will be well on his way to earning those type of numbers, something the Red Sox don’t want to see. As for Youkilis, who brought home $3 Million last season, he is due for a big raise as well, after he had a career year, batting .321 with 29 HR’s and 115 RBI’s, he will want to sign a deal somewhere around $10 to $12 Million dollars a season. He definitely put himself into the elite level of first basemen this year. So, he might want to base his contract numbers off of what free-agent Mark Teixeira made over the last couple seasons. For the past two seasons, Teixeira brought home $9 Million and $12.5 Million dollars, Youkilis’s arbitration numbers will very likely fall somewhere in between those two numbers. And if his numbers keep getting progressively getting better, he could make a wind fall in arbitration. So, if the Red Sox don’t want to worry on a year in-and-out basis about these two players arbitration figures, they may be better off served signing them to extensions this offseasons when they do have the money too spend. Otherwise, it could effect how they approach each offseason. Then again, maybe the Sox feel that Youkilis will never have a season like he did this year, and for now maybe better off going to arbitration with him. As for Papelbon, closers come at a premium, but don’t hold your breath on the Sox signing him to an extension. From all indications, Papelbon wants to break the bank, and for a deal to make sense for the Red Sox it will take a six-year deal, something their not comfortable giving pitchers, especially ones who have already had shoulder issues. Red Sox GM, Theo Epstein, has an excellent history of not allowing his players to go to arbitration, let’s see if he can keep up that track record.

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Schilling To Call It Quits ?

Posted by Mike on December 4, 2008

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From the Inside Track:

Red Sox hero hurler Curt Schilling may have filed for free agency, but in all likelihood will hang ’em up before the start of the new baseball season, according to Mrs. Curt.

Shonda Schilling said her hubby is “leaning towards” retirement because he wants to spend more time with her and the kids.

“Gehrig goes to high school next year and it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, where does the time go. We only have four years left with him.’ ” Shonda said. “I think he feels the pressure.”

The Schillings will stay in Massachusetts after Curt retires, she said, because their kids have already “traveled so much” and the family is really happy here.

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Jason Varitek To Accept Arbitration ?

Posted by Mike on December 3, 2008

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From Ken Rosenthal:

Another Boras client, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, is a strong candidate to accept arbitration. In fact, it would be an upset if Varitek rejected the team’s offer and the chance to earn about $10 million on a one-year deal.

Varitek, 36, simply isn’t in position to land the four-year, $52.4 million, free-agent contract that the Yankees awarded catcher Jorge Posada last offseason.

The economy, of course, is one reason, but Posada also was coming off a career year. Varitek batted .220 last season, and there is no obvious fit for him with a contending team.

The Tigers seem disinclined to pay a catcher big money. The Dodgers, who already have Russell Martin, are trying to fill too many holes.

Any team that signs Varitek also would lose a high draft pick — something that would be difficult to justify for a 36-year-old catcher in offensive decline.

Posted in Blogroll, MLB, Red Sox | 3 Comments »