Varitek deal not done yet and other Red Sox tidbits

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Contrary to yesterday’s reports that he had already exercised his $3 million option, Jason Varitek held out yesterday, apparently trying to get the Red Sox to renegotiate its terms in an effort to make the incentives more attainable. That according to the Globe’s Pete Abraham, who reports that Scott Boras and Theo Epstein had a late meeting about it all last night. Pete notes, however, that Theo doesn’t sound all that enthused about renegotiating anything, saying that the existing option “seems like a straightforward thing.”  Varitek has until today to make his decision. I can’t feature him having any other prospects out there apart from minor league deals and non-roster invites, so if he doesn’t exercise it, it would suggest that he doesn’t want to play anymore.  I think he exercises.

In other Sox news Theo strongly hinted that Matt Holliday was a possibility for Boston, saying “Hopefully we’ll sign Jason Bay. But if we can’t, we’ll
have to get creative in left field. It could a big-money guy . . .”  The only bigger money guy in left field is clearly Holliday, and a move for him is totally consistent with what we heard yesterday about the Sox’ willingness to spend this winter.

Finally, Pete notes that Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to return to the U.S. relatively early in the offseason for the express purpose of embarking upon a conditioning program.  Remember over the summer Dice-K was saying that the Sox were full of it and that he was going to stick with his old Japanese conditioning habits? Yeah, forget that. Theo wins. Theo almost always wins.

Braves call up prospect Bryse Wilson to debut vs. Pirates

Atlanta Braves
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The Braves announced that pitching prospect Bryse Wilson has been called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Monday night’s game against the Pirates. Infielder Ryan Flaherty was designated for assignment and pitcher Chad Bell was outrighted to Gwinnett.

Wilson, 20, was selected by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. This season, between High-A Florida, Double-A Mississippi, and Gwinnett, the right-hander compiled a 3.27 ERA with 139 strikeouts and 35 walks in 123 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rates Wilson as the No. 13 prospect in the Braves’ system.

As the Braves’ Twitter notes, the club will have had three different pitchers appear in a game this season prior to his 21st birthday. The others are Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka. The last team in franchise history to do that was the 1910 Boston Doves, which had Lefty Tyler, Billy Burke, and Chick Evans each pitch prior to his 21st birthday.