As I’ve mentioned a couple of times this morning, Red Sox owner John Henry and team CEO Lary Lucchino sat down for an interview on WEEI this morning and offered up all manner of postmortem on the Red Sox’ 2011 season and some glimpses into the future as well. Here is audio of the entire interview. Among the highlights:
- When asked about Theo Epstein’s future, Henry said “I think there’s a certain shelf life in these jobs,” and would not say whether or not he’s granted the Cubs’ request to speak to Epstein. Lucchino said “this is one subject we don’t believe needs full disclosure.” Overall they provided no clarity on whether Epstein returns. Still, the idea that Epstein could go to the Cubs seemed crazy a few weeks ago. Seems way less crazy now.
- Henry said the decision for Terry Francona to leave wasn’t a mutual one, but that’s because they didn’t get the chance to make it mutual. Francona wanted out and told team brass that before there was a chance to consider it. Henry added, however, that it was very likely that they would have reached the same conclusion and that Francona would have been gone anyway.
- Lucchino said the team is “knee deep” in the process of hiring a replacement for Francona.
- Lucchino was asked about the drinking in the clubhouse stuff and said that the front office disapproved of that. That said “we’re still trying to dig in to find out how pervasive it was, how extensive it was, and not try to superficially conclude it was a major factor in anything.”
Nothing really shocking here. Francona was going to go anyway, it seemed. Theo could easily go. No one is overreacting to the late-season collapse or the media hype about fat, drunk ballplayers and clubhouse chaos. Just sounds like any team picking up the pieces of what for them was a failed season and trying to move forward.
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:
Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.
Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.
The Mariners have signed reliever Mark Lowe, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Tigers released him on Sunday.
Lowe, 33, is entering the last of a two-year, $11 million deal signed with the Tigers in December 2015. The right-hander struggled to a 7.11 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings last season. His performance this spring didn’t do much to inspire confidence.
Lowe began his major league career with the Mariners, breaking out in 2009 with a 3.26 ERA across 80 innings. He has been inconsistent throughout most of his 11-year big league career, however.