Curt Schilling, arguing that the Red Sox should sign Josh Beckett to a contract extension right now:
Here’s why, barring some freakish medical issue which I assume he
doesn’t have or there would be bigger problems, you sign Josh now. The one worry, other than health, you have when signing ANY player
to a long term contract is the player themselves. Are they going to
keep grinding, working, wanting it?
That’s where this becomes a no brainer. I know Josh as well as
anyone knows Josh. There is not a sliver of a chance that you get
anything less than his total focus, concentration and effort for every
day he’s under contract, no matter who that is with.
Schilling-the-blogger is most associated with the Red Sox. I’m guessing a good 80% or more of his readers are Sox fans. I’m guessing a good 80% of them know that the Red Sox front office under Theo Epstein doesn’t give a diddly durn about how bad someone wants it. Dave Roberts wanted it bad and worked hard. Nomar wanted it bad and worked hard. So did Pedro. So did Jason Bay. And the front office cut the cord on those dudes because they make a point of signing guys who not only work hard, but who play well, stay healthy and who won’t cost radically more than the Red Sox think they can be expected to be worth over the course of the deal.
If Beckett wants Lackey money or better, the Sox will probably let him walk. If he’ll take something shorter or cheaper-per-year and he has a good season in 2010, he’ll stay. It’s pretty simple really. It doesn’t matter how hard Beckett works. It doesn’t matter how bad he wants to win. It ain’t personal. It’s just business.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.