Albers signed; Ellsbury and Bard tendered
The Red Sox signed righthanded reliever Matt Albers to a one-year contract worth $1.07 million last night, but did not offer a deal to lefthanded reliever Rich Hill, making him a free agent.
The Sox also tendered contract offers to their other unsigned players, including pitchers Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard and Franklin Morales along with position players Mike Aviles, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
A tendered player is considered signed for 2012 for at least a one-year contract at a salary determined through negotiation or by an arbitration panel.
Hill, a Milton native, could be retained on a minor league contract. The 31-year-old appeared in nine games last season before tearing an elbow ligament in June and undergoing Tommy John surgery. Hill is not expected to be ready to appear in a game until June.
Albers, who turns 29 next month, appeared in 56 games last season. He had a 2.15 ERA in his first 37 games and held opponents to a .207 batting average.
But an apparently worn-down Albers was hit hard over the final two months of the season. He had an 11.09 ERA in his final 19 appearances, giving up 28 hits and 12 walks over 18 2/3 innings. He regained his form in the final 10 days of the season, allowing one run over 4 2/3 innings and striking out seven.
Ellsbury, who made $2.4 million last season, could see his salary rise close to $8 million after a record-setting 2011 in which he finished second in the American League MVP race.
Bard and Aceves also will receive significant bumps.
Morales has been dominant this winter in Venezuela, allowing three hits without an earned run over 16 1/3 innings with three walks and 18 strikeouts.
The Sox also sent Aviles to play winter ball in Puerto Rico, primarily to get some time in the outfield. The Sox see him playing a valuable role as a utility player next season.
The Red Sox will carefully examine players who are not tendered by other teams. Aceves was one such player last season and he proved immensely valuable, appearing in 55 games with a 2.61 ERA after being let go by the Yankees.
One intriguing player this winter is lefthander Joe Saunders, who was cut by Arizona last night. He had a 3.69 ERA in 33 starts last season and spent parts of six seasons with the Angels. The Sox also could have an interest in righthanded-hitting outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, who was non-tendered by the Rockies.
Surgery for Jenks
Righthanded reliever Bobby Jenks underwent back surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital yesterday.
Jenks was injured in June but the surgery was delayed until medication cleared up a pulmonary embolism that was found while treating the back injury.
The surgery was on the left side of his back and is not expected to affect how Jenks throws. General manager Ben Cherington said last week that Jenks should be able to pitch at some point in spring training.
Jenks was a huge disappointment last season, appearing in only 19 games after signing a two-year, $12 million deal. He had a 6.32 ERA.
Pedro for charity
Former Sox great Pedro Martinez will headline two charity events in January.
“An Intimate Evening with Pedro Martinez and Friends’’ will be Jan. 13 at the Liberty Hotel. There will be cocktails, dinner, a question-and-answer session hosted by Bob Neumeier, auctions, and an autograph and photo session. Tickets are $350.
Martinez also will participate in the annual “New Stars For Young Stars’’ event at Jillian’s in Boston Jan. 14.
Bobby Valentine is scheduled to attend along with Sox prospects Sean Coyle, Kolbrin Vitek, and Alex Wilson. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tickets are $150 and include a guest. The ticket holder can get autographs from those in attendance.
Go to JimmyFund.org for more information.