This season has been a struggle for Tim Wakefield, who has a 5.12 ERA in 155 innings and went eight starts between his 199th and 200th career wins, but the 45-year-old knuckleballer told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that he wants to play a 20th season in 2012:
I’ve definitely made up my mind that I definitely want to come back next year. I have another goal in front of me that I’d like to accomplish, and that’s the all-time record for the Red Sox in wins. I’m only seven away. I think the fans deserve an opportunity to watch me chase that record. We’ll see what happens.
Wakefield might be overestimating the fans’ interest in him securing the Red Sox’s wins record, or at least relative to the number of fans who want a starter with a sub-5.00 ERA. Dating back to last season Wakefield is 11-18 with a 5.22 ERA in 295 innings, but for $1 million or so the Red Sox may decide he’s worth bringing back to eat innings again.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.