|Red Sox Extension Discussions Proceed Slowly||12.10.08 at 6:52 am ET|
According to industry sources, the Red Sox have had preliminary discussions with corner infielder Kevin Youkilis and his agent, Joe Bick, about a long-term deal. Yet initial conversations between the team and the player suggest that, while Youkilis is receptive to the idea of staying in Boston for the long-term, a healthy financial gap must still be bridged to reach a deal. The two sides plan to continue negotiations in hopes of finding common ground. Youkilis is eligible for salary arbitration in each of the next two years, and then becomes eligible for free agency after the 2010 season.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Sox had not discussed a contract extension with the representatives for outfielder Jason Bay. Bay, who often talked of being invigorated after moving from perpetual cellar-dwellar Pittsburgh to Boston, is due to make $7.5 million in 2009, the final season of a four-year, $18.25 million contract. If not re-signed, he would be eligible for free agency after the 2009 season.
The Sox and second baseman Dustin Pedroia agreed to a six-year, $40.5 million deal (with an option for a seventh year) last week.
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