Better late than never
Curt Schilling is staying in Boston. Reports have him agreeing to a one-year contract worth $8 million dollars with incentives (including a clause that he has to maintain a certain weight) that could bring the deal to $13 million.
Score this as another home run for GM Theo Epstein.
Last Spring, Epstein balked at Schilling's request for a one-year, $13 million extension, wanting to see how Schilling held up physically in 2007 before signing him for 2008.
During the regular season, they got a 9-8 pitcher who made 24 starts and battled shoulder tendonitis. In the post-season, they got a reminder just how good Schilling can still be. He won three post-season games and threw 24 innings, both the second most on the team. He continued to build on his eye-popping post-season resume (11-2, 1.68), a resume that may get him into Cooperstown even if his 215 career wins falls short.
On his website today, Schilling said he was excited about "a chance to finish our career as members of the Red Sox organization."
When the Red Sox declined to extend Schilling, they got plenty of criticism here in Boston as Schilling lobbied publicly for a deal. Both sides now get what they want. Schilling wanted to stay here, and can still earn his $13 million with a good season. The Sox get a very good pitcher who can win games and help mentor a crop of young arms.
Considering the dearth of free-agent pitchers available (do Kyle Lohse or Carlos Silva get you excited) this was a no-brainer. Schilling can still pitch, and he wants to pitch in Boston. Now he will... and the Sox have once again built considerable depth in their starting rotation.
Now, the real fun begins. Who do you think will be playing third base for the Sox in 2008? There are plenty of suggestions in this week's e-mailbag...
What are the chances the Sox hold on to Lowell and pick up A-Rod to play SS? Lugo has been better in the post season, but struggled a bit during the regular season
Matt, Burlington VT
A: AI think you're asking the Red Sox to add some $45 - $50 million a year to a payroll that was already the second highest in baseball. Besides that, they'd probably have to eat part of Lugo's contract in order to move him. It would be a staggering lineup to say the least, but the staggering price tag will probably keep that from happening.
HEY CONGRATS to THE SOX!!!!! Perfect timing to email some thoughts!! I was looking for some stuff to paste and attach to my Yankee friend and cousin's email and came across the mailbag! Hey Tom, I met you with my mom on the last reg. game this year (we mentioned a show we didnít care about!!) Anyway, want to chime in on what I just read here while looking for good stuff for the Yankee fans...It really was a great thing that Kevin Millar did the ceremonial first pitch before game 7, hey, I gotta add I was so psyched to be there!!!! anyway,...think of it as he was a major (major mainly for his spirit and game 4 of ALCS in 04) part of the miracle in 04 and will never be forgotten, and he would give us a good kick
off of the game 7 which we needed!! Which hey we did win!!!!! Also, he has the mascot personality for us. He just loves us and wishes he could retire here!! As I feel the same for him. Also, I think Orioles and fans would understand for he came to Orioles with a thankful attitude for he knew he didnít do well in 05 and understood it was a blessing to be signed with someone else, although as I told him when I met him I wouldíve kept him for another mascot!!! If he wasnít part of the miracle in 04 I see your point, but I hope you see it in a more positive way, he will never be forgotten along with Miller and the others of 04,heck I would love to see the 04 old teammates follow in the parade!!! - They broke the curse!
Shoot, put the '67 team in the parade and make an even bigger partying parade!!!! Make sure Pesky is in the parade!!! See you at the parade and thank you so much for reading and I understand if you donít have to the time to respond. I just had to throw out my support for Kevin Millar and that any 04 winner is welcome back to Fenway anytime even if they are still playing!!!! I thank them for such a special season and to make 07 an even more emotional win looking back at how '04 started it all! Thanks for chatting with my mom and me and also, I hope Don Orsillo feels better after Colorado, he didnít look himself!!!! I guess the altitude etc!!!! Take care!
I exclude Johnny D out of the welcome back anytime statement. I wonder how he's spending his extra 3 mil right now!!!! Picking 3 extra mil a year over his buddies in the clubhouse, well I guess the comes around part has happened! Also, I guess that sums it up about Kevin Millar returning, he has class Johnny doesnít!!! Thanks for reading!!!
Kathy M, E. Hartford, Conn.
A: D.O.'s fine -- you've got to remember that was his third trip up into the Rockies in the last five weeks.
I like the "Kevin Millar as Mascot" angle. Maybe he can join Wally and those two socks for home games at Fenway after he retires. He certainly remains a goodwill ambassador to Red Sox Nation -- even as he continues to play for an A.L. East opponent.
Hope you find plenty of material to forward to your pinstripe-wearing friends. Yes, they've still got those 26 championships... but the new millennium has not been very good to them.
I think it would be pretty tough for a Yankee to come throw out the first pitch at Fenway, don't you? Remember the time a few years back when Spike Lee threw out a first pitch and then put his NY hat back on in the seats? I still think we'll welcome Damon back into our hearts when his playing career is over... but not until he's through with his time in NYC.
Red Sox Nation must make it loud and clear they want the Red Sox
brass to re-sign Mike Lowell! Don't you think even CONSIDERING signing
A-Rod makes US look like the NEW Evil Empire?
Darren, Marlborough, Conn.
A: I think fans have done exactly that. "Re-sign Lo-well" was the loudest chant of the day at last week's Rolling Rally. As for making the Sox look like the Evil Empire, they've got a way to go. They are, however, a model franchise in today's baseball. A team with tremendous resources coming out of a tremendous fan base -- that drafts well and adds young players to the mix of high-end free agents. Nothing wrong with that.
I'm sure this is being discussed where any Red Sox fans are this morning. With A-Rod opting out of his contract, more effort should be made before Mike Lowell is signed by another team. Trying to get A-Rod would be the BIGGEST MISTAKE that Sox Management could make, especially if this goes along with losing MIKE LOWELL.
After Mikeís winning the MVP, there should be more demand for him on the open market, so there should be more done by Sox Management to scoop him up!!!
A: The Red Sox have made it clear that they set a certain value on a player and will not overspend to keep him (see Martinez, Pedro; Damon, Johnny; and Mueller, Bill.) Lowell could easily command four years, $60 million on the open market... and I'd be stunned if the Sox pony up that kind of long-term cash. If they can get him for three years and a little less per year (with, perhaps, a fourth-year option that vests automatically after two years) they'll get it done. Remember, though, that Lowell has never been a free agent, and is in line for his biggest payday ever. He has earned the right to exercise his options on the open market.