Schilling: the Sox should sign Josh Beckett now

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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.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.

The Red Sox sign Jhonny Peralta

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The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.

Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.

This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.