|11.04.13 at 10:05 am ET|
According to multiple baseball sources, the Red Sox plan to make a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to free agent center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, shortstop Stephen Drew and first baseman Mike Napoli by the 5 p.m. deadline to do so today.
If any of those players accepts the qualifying offer (which represents the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball in 2013), then he would return to the Red Sox on a one-year deal in 2014. If any of them signs with a team other than the Sox, then because of the qualifying offer, the Sox would receive a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds of the draft.
Ellsbury is expected not to be impacted significantly by the qualifying offer, given that he is expected to command a long-term deal whose annual value exceeds the $14.1 million mark by a considerable amount. Napoli and Drew represent somewhat different cases for whom the impact of the qualifying offer is twofold.
Not only does it ensure that the Sox would receive a draft pick if the first baseman or shortstop leave; by virtue of the fact that a team that signs Napoli or Drew would need to give up a draft pick, it also could decrease the market for their services, thus potentially increasing the likelihood that the Sox will be able to bring one or both back, whether if either accepts a one-year qualifying offer or if either can negotiate a multi-year deal, much as David Ortiz did last offseason after turning down the Sox’ qualifying offer. (In that vein, it’s worth noting that the Sox were pleasantly surprised when Napoli didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Rangers last offseason; the fact that he would not cost the team a draft pick made him a top priority with whom to negotiate in the free agent market, given the opportunity to acquire a player with considerable power and strong on-base percentages who could be acquired for just money, rather than any sacrifice of the team’s prospect pool.) Read the rest of this entry »
|11.03.13 at 12:30 pm ET|
According a major league source, the Red Sox have not been asked formal permission by any organization to interview any members of their major league coaching staff for a managerial position.
It was reported earlier Sunday that Torey Lovullo was slated to interview with the Cubs later this week. Lovullo has been a candidate for the managerial openings in both Seattle and the Cubs.
Check back for more information.
|11.02.13 at 5:58 pm ET|
On Friday, the Red Sox picked up the $13 million option on Jon Lester‘s contract to keep the left-hander in the same uniform in which he’s played his entire career. No surprise there, shortly on the heels of the pitcher’s historic run through October in which he matched the single-postseason record for wins while going 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA.
“That’s a foregone conclusion that option would be picked up,” said manager John Farrell. “The way he pitched through not only his entire career here but it’s almost like he took it to a whole another level this postseason. he remained strong. He remained calm in the moment, when, Game 5 was a pivotal moment, and he walked to the mound like it was just another game and pitched with a calmness, a relaxation, and it was dominant, and it was great to see.”
Lester, who signed a five-year, $30 million deal prior to the 2009 season that included the team option for the 2014 season, expressed his gratitude at knowing that he’ll be back in Boston next season. He remains hopeful that it will not be his last year.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to [Sox GM Ben Cherington]. But to obviously be back for another year is awesome,” said Lester. “Hopefully that’s not the only one and we can be here for a long time. We’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
Like most of his teammates, Lester was more interested in thinking about celebrating his team’s title than contractual concerns on Saturday. The left-hander had been in a parade before when he was part of the 2007 World Series winners, but this time, the left-hander suggested, was different.
“Everything then was such a whirlwind for me, being part of that situation, kind of getting thrown into it. I didn’t really get a chance to enjoy it,” he said. “This morning, I got here early with my family, just trying to really enjoy it and let everything soak in, and I think ’07 was just for me thrown together. I was told where to go and sit on a duck boat and wave, and that’s about it. This year, we’ll definitely enjoy it a little bit more.”
|11.02.13 at 5:39 pm ET|
By his own account, Mike Napoli hasn’t had a lot of time to worry about his forthcoming foray into free agency. He’s been too busy enjoying the afterglow of Wednesday’s World Series victory, suggesting that he hadn’t slept since the Sox claimed their title and he had little intention of doing so in the immediate future.
“It’s pretty amazing. It’s been great. I can’t even explain the feeling,” said Napoli. “I won’t sleep for another, I don’t know, couple of days. I’m going to enjoy it, have fun, it’s been a great time.”
The Duck Boat rides on Saturday represented the culmination of what Napoli depicted as a tremendous experience with the Red Sox, with whom he agreed on a three-year, $39 million deal last winter that had to be renegotiated to a one-year, $5 million deal (with incentives that pushed the first baseman’s earnings back up to $13 million when he avoided the DL) once a degenerative hip condition was identified in the routine contract physical. He performed much to his career norms in 2013, and with no evidence that the hip condition had limited him, the 32-year-old is well-positioned for this offseason. But that was hardly his focus as he prepared to take part in the Sox’ victory parade.
“This is great. People here have been great. It’s been fun,” said Napoli. “I’d like to stay here but it is what it is. I’m pretty sure we’re going to talk and go from there.”
Napoli has, however, made one important decision about his future: The beard stays.
“It’s part of me now,” he said. “I’m going to keep it.”
|11.02.13 at 5:23 pm ET|
The Red Sox announced on Saturday that they elected to decline the team’s $6 million option on left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, instead electing to pay the $1 million buyout. As a result, the veteran — acquired in July from the White Sox in exchange for minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs — is a free agent.
The 37-year-old went 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in 15 1/3 innings spanning 20 appearances with nine strikeouts and five walks for the Red Sox after the Sox traded for him on July 12, just before the All-Star break. Overall, he totaled an 0-4 record with a 3.74 ERA in 60 games out of the bullpen this season. Though he stayed with the Sox throughout the postseason in case the team needed an injury replacement, he was not on the playoff roster for any of the three rounds. The 10-year major league veteran is 32-42 with a 3.53 ERA in 606 career appearances, including one start.
|11.01.13 at 5:40 pm ET|
According to a Major League source, the Red Sox have exercised the $13 million option for Jon Lester for the 2014 season.
Lester recently concluded the fifth year of a five-year, $30 million contract that had a team option for the 2014 season. The Sox had until midnight Saturday night to determine if they were going to pick up Lester’s option.
The 29-year-old has spent his entire eight-year career with the Red Sox. Last season, he went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA over 213 1/3 innings in the regular season. Lester went 4-1 and allowed six runs over five postseason starts in the team’s postseason run to a World Series championship.
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|11.01.13 at 4:21 pm ET|
In an appearance on WEEI’s Salk & Holley Friday afternoon, Dustin Pedroia said he expects to have surgery “probably in a couple weeks” to repair a torn thumb ligament he suffered on Opening Day.
Pedroia played with the injury all season. He said it forced him to shorten up his swing and not try to hit home runs as much as he might have in the past.
Pedroia said he still needs to have an MRI performed before the surgery is finalized. He’ll be examined by Dr. Donald Sheridan, the same doctor who performed the surgery on the hamate bone in Pedroia’s wrist after the 2007 season.
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