Here, There Or Anywhere?
Who goes where, and when? That's what the off season is all about. Boston is in good shape in terms of free agency. Only six players who are possible free agents are on the roster. Thanks to the Hartford Courant for helping me with the details. The infield will mostly be intact. Youk is eligible for arbitration but he ain't going anywhere. The Sox should sign him to a long term deal...yesterday. Pedey is under team control, as is Jed Lowrie. Mike Lowell is signed through 2010 and had a successful hip operation...he should be ready by spring training. JASON VARITEK is a free agent...here's what Theo Epstein had to say about our captain...
"We're at a point now where we have a very solid foundation as an organization and we're not just going out this winter to try and address the 2009 team and that's it," general manager Theo Epstein said Monday at Fenway Park, where the players were cleaning out their lockers. "We're continuing the process of building and evolving the organization. He (Varitek) is an important part of the organization, there's no doubt about that," Epstein said. "Obviously, he's coming off of a year that wasn't his best, but he's important nonetheless. He's a free agent and we'll be talking to him. We have an obligation to explore all our options. We have to do that. We do that with every position, but we'll certainly be talking."
OK, Theo...I hope so. Jason Bay is signed through 2009, as is Coco Crisp. Jacoby Ellsbury is under team control and JD Drew is signed through 2011. Kevin Cash is arbitration eligible. ALEX CORA will be a free agent, as will KOTSAY and CASEY. Beckett is signed through next season with an option for 2010. Jon Lester, our 2008 hero, among others, is under team control. PAUL BYRD will be a free agent (bye bye Byrdie) and Matsuzaka will be with us through 2012. Wakefield has a 2009 team option and Aardsma is under team control. Javier Lopez will be eligible for arbitration and last and certainly least (yes, I said that!), MIKE TIMLIN will be a free agent and will not be back (my opinion...thanks Mikey).
A few questions linger in my mind. Who will be the two guys who will fill out the rotation? Will Lugo be kept, or will Lowrie and Cora take over the infield duties at short and where needed? But that's another day's post.
I hope you didn't suffer from baseball withdrawl last night...I did, just a little. You can click on this post title's for the Globe Sox homepage, and as always, BE WELL. Again, my thanks go out to the Hartford Courant and their fine sports department for helping me with the players' statuses (or is it stati?). See ya! A World Series post will be up first thing Wednesday.