Tim Wakefield: “I definitely want to come back next year”

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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.

Giants making Brandon Belt available

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Giants have made first baseman Brandon Belt available in a trade and says that several teams have expressed interest in him.

Which is kind of weird, really.

Belt turns 31 early next season. He hit .253/.342/.414 with 14 homers over 112 games last year due to a knee injury and time lost to an appendectomy. He has a history of concussions and has averaged only 115 games over the last five seasons. Oh, and makes $48 million over the next three years.

Yes, he could be a very useful player if healthy, but taking on that kind of money, even a part of that money, when many very affordable first base/DH options are out there on the market makes little sense to me. Matt Adams. Justin Bour. Lucas Duda. As good as Belt? No, I don’t think so. But way cheaper and requiring less of a commitment.

But hey, rumors are rumors. Let a thousand flowers bloom.