Just spoke to Theo Epstein. Jason Varitek has not yet exercised his $3 million player option for 2010. At least as far as the Sox know.
As Epstein correctly pointed out, Scott Boras usually pushes such decisions until the deadline.
To be sure, the Sox expect Varitek to trigger that option. But it hasn’t happened yet. Word is it could come tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Alex Speier of WEEI.com has the exact details of Tim Wakefield’s new deal. For you completists out there, here is the down-and-dirty:
Base salary: $3.5m in 2010; $1.5m in 2011.
Bonuses in 2010: $50,000 each for starts 11-15; $75,000 each for starts 16-25; $100,000 each for starts 26-30. Maximum: $5 million.
Escalator clause for 2011 base salary: Throwing 130 innings would add $500,000. Throwing 160 innings would add $2 million.
Bonuses in 2011 if base salary is $1.5 million: $100,000 each for starts 11-15; $200,000 each for starts 16-25; $250,000 each for starts 26-30. Maximum: $5.25 million.
Bonuses for 2011 if base salary is $2 million: $75,000 each for starts 11-15; $150,000 each for starts 16-20; $200,000 each for starts 21-30. Maximum: $5.125 million.
Bonuses for 2011 if base salary is $3.5 million: $50,000 each for starts 11-15; $75,000 each for starts 16-25; $100,000 each for starts 26-30. Maximum: $5 million.
So at worst, Wakefield will earn $5 million. But could earn as much as $10.125 million is he piles up the innings and starts. If he does that, the Sox will gladly pay.
Any starting pitcher who can give them 30 starts and/or 160 innings has a lot of value. Especially considering that Wakefield will ostensibly be the No. 5 starter next season behind Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz.