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Archive for the ‘Red Sox’ 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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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.

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Pedroia Signs Bad Deal, But Good Deal For The Red Sox

Posted by Mike on December 3, 2008

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From a Red Sox point of view, this deal is outstanding, but if you’re Dustin Pedroia, you could have held out for a lot more money. Here is the outline of his new six-year deal from Boston.com:

The Globe’s Tony Massarotti reports that Pedroia will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus and a $1.5 million salary in 2009. He will be paid $3.5 million in 2010, $5.5 million in ’11, $8 million in ’12, and $10 million in both 2013 and ’14. The club option for ’15 is for $11 million, or the Sox can buy him out for $500,000.

The deal has the potential to be worth $51 Million dollars over the life of the contract, but that is unlikely to happen. Compare the deal the MVP just signed to those of other comparable young players who just recently signed new deals with their clubs. From Ken Rosenthal:

Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez (six years, $70 million), Mets third baseman David Wright (six years, $55 million) and Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (eight years, $45 million) also signed high-priced deals while their salaries were still under club control.

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Our Ideas For Theo Epstein

Posted by Mike on December 3, 2008

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– Trade Julio Lugo to the Detroit Tigers for Dontrelle Willis. The Tigers would do this trade today, but the Red Sox are hesitant to add Willis’s salary, which is about $4 Million more than Lugo. This would allow the Red Sox to play Jed Lowrie at shortstop, who is a better fielder than Lugo, and is fastly becoming a better hitter than him as well. With the magic that Sox pitching coach John Farrell has worked so far, its worth a shot on Willis. Fenway Park has always been a park built for left-handed pitchers. Pitching in Fenway could allow for Willis to help rejuvenate his career, that has taken a slide over the past three seasons. This would setup the Sox rotation to look like: Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, and Willis.

– Sign Jonathan Papelbon to a 4-year $52 Million dollar extension. It’s a must. Papelbon is one of the most important players on the Sox. He had very little help this year in the bullpen and it wore him down at times, but was excellent in the playoffs.

– Sign Kerry Wood to a one-year $7 Million dollar contract. The Sox desperately need help in the bullpen and Wood could be a great eighth inning guy. The Sox had interest in signing him in the past, and last season Wood had 34 saves with a 3.26 ERA and 84 K’s in 66.1 innings. Durability is a concern, but Wood would be worth the gamble. The Sox just added Ramon Ramirez another power arm, that the Red Sox covet in the bullpen.

– Sign Juan Rivera as your fourth outfielder to a two-year $10 Million dollar contract. Rivera, would be an excellent addition as your fourth outfielder, who could play a lot of time when JD Drew inevitability gets hurt. He’s been a major part of the Angels over the past few seasons. Last season in 89 games Rivera hit .246 with 12 HR’s and 45 RBI’s.

– Trade Manny Delcarmen and George Kottaras to the Colorado Rockies for catcher Chris Iannetta. The Sox would not need Delcarmen any longer after signing Wood and trading for Ramirez. Delcarmen has never taken off liked the Red Sox had hoped, and adding Iannetta the pride of Providence could be a big addition for the Sox. He could be your backup catcher if you re-sign Varitek, or he could split time with whoever they add. Last season was a career year of Iannetta who hit .264 with 18 HR’s and 64 RBI’s.

– Sign Jason Varitek to a two-year $14 Million dollar contract. He didn’t hit last season, but he is of an immense importance behind that plate. Who else could communicate with Dice-K ? Hopefully, now that his divorce is over he’ll come around and start to hit the ball again.

– Sign Willie Bloomquist as your utility infielder. This guy can player everywhere, and would be an upgrade over Alex Cora. The versatility of Bloomquist would allow the Sox to keep another pitcher because he can play the outfield as well. He isn’t that much of an upgrade of a hitter over Cora, but Bloomquist will hit in the .270’s, which is good enough. Cora wants to be a starter somewhere.

– Acquiring Prince Fielder might make some sense for the Sox, since they want to add another power bat to the lineup, but he’ll cost you a boat land and his weight has to be an issue. So, the Sox should go out and trade pitcher Michael Bowden and outfielder Ryan Kalish to the Minnesota Twins for Delmon Young, who can play outfield, or be moved to first base. Young, the former #1 pick in the draft has a great bat, and his potential is unlimited, but he had a down year with the Twins and they want to move him for more young players. He’s been known as bit of a headcase, it just maybe a maturity issue. The Sox would be giving up a lot for Young, but his kind of potential is rare to come by, and would be worth the gamble for the Sox, since their farm system is so deep in talent. He is the young bat the Sox desperately need.

– The Javier Lopez era is over and the Sox should go sign Brian Shouse to a 2-year $7 Million dollar contract, and he can be your new lefty out of the pen. He played here way backin 1998, and would be a major upgrade over Lopez. Last season lefty’s hit only .180 off of Shouse in 100 at bats. He doesn’t walk many batters either, just 14 last season, but righties do hit him hard.

– Re-sign Jason Bay to a 4-year $56 Million dollar contract. Bay will never be a star, but he is a must for the Sox. He just maybe one of the most underrated players in the game and the Sox cannot afford to lose him.

– Sign Kevin Millar as another player off the bench. The fans love him, his teammates love him, and he could be a decent bat off the bench. He won’t be that expensive either. You could probably get him for something in the $3 Million dollar range.

– This is a must, re-sign Josh Beckett to a 4-year $68 Million dollar contract. Keeping Beckett is a must for the Sox, now while the economic market is in the dumps you maybe able to get to for a reasonable deal. That’s if you call $17 Million a season reasonable.

– Take a flier on Brad Penny, you can never have enough starting pitching and you know Penny wants to sign for just one season so he can get his value up again, when he’ll become a free-agent next season. Penny will definitely want to pitch for a contender, so a lot of people can see him shine in the big spot. This guy always puts up good numbers, but gets hurt more than Ben Sheets does. It may take $8 Million to sign him, but it maybe worth it.

The winter meetings begin Sunday, so we should see a lot of action out of the Red Sox next week. Look for them to try to strike quick and sign Mark Teixeira.

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