Pedroia seeks second opinion on foot; talks to Michael Jordan for advice

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Seeking a second opinion on Dustin Pedroia’s sore left foot, the Red Sox sent scans to Dr. Jonathan Deland and Dr. Robert Anderson, according Quinn Roberts of MLB.com.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that the team expected feedback either Tuesday or Wednesday, so we should hear an update on his status relatively quickly. This afternoon, Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com reported that surgery for Pedroia remains a possibility.

Looking to ease his second baseman’s mind, Francona even dialed up his old pal Michael Jordan, who he managed with the Birmingham Barons in 1994. Jordan also broke the navicular bone in his left foot while playing with the Bulls during the 1985-1986 season.

Francona described the nature of the conversation during an appearance on the Dale & Holley show on WEEI in Boston this morning.

“I don’t call Michael very much just because I know how much people bug
him. But because of Pedey, I knew that Michael would enjoy talking to
him, and he did. He was almost fatherly in his advice. He was like, “I
went through this, it’s tough, you got to listen.” Pedey was all ears
and that was good. When guys like Michael Jordan talk, people are apt to
listen more.”

Speaking of Jordan, I wasn’t able to watch the latest “30 for 30” documentary about his time with the Barons — too busy with baseball coverage both here and on Rotoworld last night — but I’m very interested to do so. 

Jeffrey Springs, Rays agree to $31 million, 4-year contract

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Springs gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

The 2025 and 2026 salaries can escalate by up to $3.75 million each based on innings in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for 300, $1 million for 325, $750,000 for 350 and $500,000 for 375. The `25 and ’26 salaries also can escalate based on finish in Cy Young Award voting in `23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second through fifth in the voting and $250,000 for finishing sixth through 10th.

Tampa Bay’s option price could escalate based on Cy Young voting in 2025 and 2026: by $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through 10th.

Springs would get $45.25 million if the option is exercised, $52.75 million with the option and meeting all innings targets and the maximum if he meetings the innings targets and wins two Cy Youngs.

Springs’ ERA last season was the second lowest in franchise history for a pitcher working a minimum of 100 innings. Former Rays ace Blake Snell compiled 1.89 ERA on the way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in ERA, Springs allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of 25 starts and two runs or fewer 17 times. He joined Tampa Bay’s rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over his next six appearances. Springs was 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Arbitration hearings start next week and the Rays remain with the most players scheduled to appear before three-person panels.

Springs had asked for a raise from $947,500 to $3.55 million and had been offered $2.7 million. Tampa remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed minor league contacts with catcher Gavin Collins and right-hander Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Infielder Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa also were invited to big league spring training.