Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield finally got his 200th win on his ninth try on Sept. 13. Now he’s hoping to add a few more to the total. According to agent Barry Meister, Wakefield wants to come back and pitch another season in 2012.
Meister said it would be a “shame” if Wakefield didn’t finish his career with the Red Sox, but that he’s currently focusing on several National League clubs in talks.
Wakefield has spent 17 of his 19 seasons with the Red Sox, and he’s third on the team’s all-time wins list with 186, leaving him just six behind both Roger Clemens and Cy Young. However, while the Red Sox might be open to re-signing him as a utility pitcher, it’s doubtful that they would guarantee him a rotation spot after he finished the last two seasons with ERAs of 5.34 and 5.12. There are surely better opportunities available for him in the other league.
Wakefield, who has about eight months on Omar Vizquel, was the oldest player in either league at age 44 last season. He would take a backseat in 2012, though, if soon-to-be 49-year-old Jamie Moyer can pull off a comeback.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.