Friday, November 02, 2007

What to do with the Sox free agents

Well, since I'm so indispensable to the Red Sox front office, I figured I'd treat you all to a little insider info - my plan for the free agent market this year. Don't share this with anyone, OK?

First, the pitchers:
Curt Schilling - we'd like to keep him, we really would. If he wants to play one last year and isn't planning on an endless farewell tour, we'll offer him a deal with a base salary of about $8 million and incentives based on innings pitched to get him up to $13-$14 million if all goes well. He's his own agent, so if we can get it done it'll be quick. This gets him the dollars he's wanting and addresses our concerns about durability. He's missed time each of the last three seasons, you know...

Eric Gagné - Let's just try and forget this ever happened. OK?

Julian Tavarez - He's with Boras, so this could be tough. We like him, he's versatile, has a rubber arm, and is a pretty good clubhouse guy. If we can get 2 more years at short money we'll do it. With Boras that's probably not going to happen, so say your goodbyes now.

Mike Timlin - We think he's about done. But if we can do a year at relatively low dollars ($3 million or so), he's a good insurance policy.

Matt Clement - Matt's going to be a decent pitcher again. But not here.

Tim Wakefield - Pretend he's not even on the list. We've got a forever option, and if he's healthy he's back. Period.

Now, the position players:

Mike Lowell - First on the list. Yes, we want him. We heard you, OK? But for his age and career performance, we can only guarantee 3 years at $13 million - if he wants 4 or 5 years guaranteed we can't play. We'll try and bridge the gap with incentives to lock in the 4th year.

Doug Mirabelli - We love ya here, Doug. But you can't hit, you aren't great on defense (except you can catch Wake), you're kind of old, and you're expensive. Pat Cash gives us what you do at much shorter money, and he can catch a knuckler too. Bye.

Eric Hinske - Thanks for the help. We'll take it from here. Hope you catch on somewhere.

Bobby Kielty - We'll try and get a 1 or 2 year deal done with you, but we've got other priorities now (we might replace you with Gabe Kapler if he goes ahead with his comeback - he's got Sox rights for life like Wake does). Thanks for the Series-clinching homer if it doesn't work out!

And here's the free agents we have our eye on so far:

Kyle Lohse - yes, he's got a losing record. But he's got great stuff, is still young, and he's the kind of guy we like to take a chance on.

Livan Hernandez - Durable, solid starter. We want him or Lohse most likely, and in the 4 spot. But if the numbers aren't good enough and we keep Shill, we'll pass on both of these guys.

Hitoki Iwase - this kid's looking for a few big-money years in the States to end his career. We see him as a good bullpen lefty (we've already got a closer), and this could work better than the Gagné experiment (that is the last you will hear his name here).

Kerry Wood - We're interested in him as a reliever. But he'll never leave Chicago.

I'm really not thinking too much about the position players right now - we're in good shape there (in case you hadn't noticed, we just won the World Series), and we're dealing from strength. We'll trade Coco Crisp during the offseason and use him to upgrade elsewhere depending on what we can get, but we're otherwise not going Extreme Makeover on the roster.

Remember, keep this all secret, OK?

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