CAP CANA, Dominican Republic — Tim Wakefield initially declined a request to be interviewed this morning before making his way over to speak to two reporters.
He didn’t have much to say beyond one clear and concise sentence.
“I have a strong desire to pitch one more year for the Red Sox,” Wakefield said.
At 45, Wakefield was the oldest player in baseball last season, going 7-8 with a 5.12 earned run average. Now a free agent, his hope is to return to the Sox for an 18th season.
General manager Ben Cherington has been cautious in discussing Wakefield, saying only that the team owed it to him to explain exactly what role he could fill next season — if indeed any.
Could Wakefield play for another team?
“I haven’t weighed all my options yet,” he said. But he nodded when asked if playing in the National League holds any appeal.
Wakefield is preparing himself to play, saying he launched into a conditioning program almost immediately after the season.
“Just like always,” he said.
Based on how he looked on the driving range at the David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic, Wakefield’s work is paying off. He has lost some weight and spring training is still months away.
Wakefield spoke briefly with new manager Bobby Valentine on Friday night and again today. He declined to say how much contact he has had with the Red Sox otherwise.
Wakefield has 186 wins with the Sox, six shy of tying the franchise record held by Cy Young and Roger Clemens.