Here, Again I Shall Try
Yes, there are only two players left who are arbitration-eligible...Wily Mo Pena and Brendan Donnelly. Read this from the Herald, and then I'll be back.Thank you Boston Herald, and thank you my readers, my friends, my buddies, my.........everything.
"The Boston Red Sox are expected to exchange salary figures with their only two arbitration-eligible players today but are hopeful of avoiding hearings next month for determining how much outfielder Wily Mo Pena and reliever Brendan Donnelly will be paid this year.
Pena, who turns 25 on Jan. 23, earned $1.25 million in 2006 but is likely to end up with a bump to the $1.75 million to $1.95 million range. The power-hitting outfielder, who batted .301 with 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 84 games and 276 at-bats during his first season with the Sox, avoided arbitration with the Cincinnati Reds last year by agreeing to a one-year contract. The Reds traded Pena to the Sox during spring training last March in a deal that sent right-hander Bronson Arroyo to Cincinnati.
Donnelly, a righty acquired from the Los Angeles Angels last month in a trade for left-hander Phil Seibel, was paid $950,000 last year. The 35-year-old relief pitcher, who was 6-0 with a 3.94 ERA last season, is expected to end up with a bump into the $1.2 million to $1.4 million area."
OK. Peter here. Let's start with WMP, who is to me an offensive threat and a defensive liability. He is sure to get playing time this year, as he is our fourth (GULP!) outfielder. Maybe he had his vision checked AND corrected during the off-season...maybe a bigger glove, too! A little less than $2,000,000 for '07 sounds just about right. Expect no hearing to be needed. And if there is, I will be surprised. The guy can't catch the ball. But on the plus side, he is young, and he will get better. And he can, on occasion, BASH the ball. Of that I am sure. He has to be selective and tone down his lunging at pitches out of the strike zone.
And now Brendan Donnelly, Cyn's older brother. I'm only kidding, but if you haven't visited Cyn's blog, named Red Sox Chick, you are in for a treat, and her link is to your right under, links! How creative, Peter. (Hi Cyn!!) Ok ok, I'm back on topic. Brendan, oh Brendan, we are counting on you to solidify and nail down that crucial inning or so before the "closer to be named later" enters the game and nails down those hair-pulling floor-pacing games. The too close ones. And turn those close ones into victories! Mike Timlin will be in that mix too, but because of his age, he'll need rest between appearances. BD is no spring chicken either, but he should be a force. What we need is a guy with a low ERA and a low opponent's batting average against. Can Brendan give that to us? He will certainly try, but I can't predict the future, I only can comment on the recent past. A bump from the $950,000 BD was paid last year to the $1.5 million, or a little lower, plateau seems fair to me. He's also used to the DH-less AL and its batters. Another big plus.
So brick by brick, arm by arm, especially bullpen arms, the '07 Sox are shaping up. The question marks are evident....who's in right? That will be answered, maybe as quickly as the death of Fidel Castro is announced.. and that's soon! So we wait, arms crossed with smiles on our faces, because we know we're going to be good this year. Just HOW good depends on a number of things. I have a list, and at the top of that list is the closer to be named at a later date. If, and this is a HUGE if, someone (nameless for now, but not for long) a guy can step into the closer's role and perform and ACCOMPLISH 80% of what Paps accomplished last year, and barring the injury bug that spread like a foul and deadly disease last season, caught by a sneeze or a handshake, someone steps up and shines like the morning sun on a cloudless and wonderful day, we will be JUST FINE.
Thanks for reading another Peter post. Another that was a little longer than I'd planned. But that's OK...take take. And we wait for hard news of the right field kind. And as always, and I'll say this EVERY day, thank you for being here. Comments would be so great....