The Red Sox yesterday elected to pick up the contract options for 2008 on pitchers Tim Wakefield and Julian Tavarez, while pitching coach John Farrell released a statement through the club saying he planned to stay rather than pursue a chance to manage the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Farrell's statement read: "While I do have aspirations to manage in the major leagues in the future, my commitment to John [Henry], Tom [Werner], Larry [Lucchino], Theo [Epstein], Tito [Francona], and the Red Sox needs to be greater than one year for their faith in hiring me as their pitching coach. Therefore I have declined the opportunity to interview for the position of Pittsburgh Pirates manager. I look forward to contributing to and competing for another World Series title here in Boston."
The Sox hold a recurring $4 million option on Wakefield, who won 17 games this past season and at that price represents a significant bargain. Wakefield, who accompanied some of his teammates and the World Series trophy to the Celtics' season opener last night, said he had an arthrogram yesterday that showed no signifi cant damage to his ailing right shoulder.
"It came back good and healthy," he said. "Nothing had changed from the MRI I had at the end of August. That's good news."
Wakefield said the extension will hinge on his health.
"That's true," he said. "I think my shoulder just needs some rest, and I need to get some strength back. It got irritated, and I kept pitching on it and pitching on it, and I got so far down with it, I never had a chance to build myself back up."
Asked if he'd had any doubts whether the Red Sox would pick up the option, Wakefield said, "No, none at all. It's good for both of us."
Exercising the option on Tavarez was somewhat curious, inasmuch as he was used sparingly in September and was left off the postseason roster. The option was $3.8 million, evidently a price the Sox were willing to pay for Tavarez's versatility as a pitcher who can move effortlessly between starting and relieving.
The Sox also announced they had acquired outfielder Sean Danielson from the Cardinals as the player to be named in the Joel Piñeiro deal. Danielson has been assigned to Double A Portland.
Danielson hit .296 with 4 homers, 36 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases in 103 games with Single A Palm Beach and Double A Springfield. After beginning the year with a .355 average in 12 games at Palm Beach, the switch hitter spent the rest of the season in the Texas League, batting .291 in 91 games. Danielson has a career .283 batting average with 61 stolen bases in 263 games in three seasons in the St. Louis system. He led all Cardinal minor leaguers with a .407 on-base percentage and ranked second with a .342 batting average in his pro debut in 2005.
The Red Sox also announced that catcher Kevin Cash has elected free agency after declining an outright assignment to Triple A Pawtucket. Cash batted .111 with four RBIs in 12 games with the Red Sox in 2007.
Jackie MacMullan of the Globe staff contributed to this report; Gordon Edes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.