Update – 11:15 AM The Red Sox and David Ortiz have successfully avoided arbitration, as first reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney. The two sides came together at the midpoint of their two filings. Ortiz will make $14.575MM in 2012. This is very, very good news.
Needless to say, by this time of year, the hot stove has cooled, teams are readying to begin Spring Training workouts, and there just isn’t a ton of news. For the Red Sox, all of this holds true. There is a sense of anticipation around the team as we head into the second full week of February, however. All of the t’s have not been crossed, and many of the i’s remain without dots. Let’s examine…
- Unless a deal is struck between tonight and tomorrow afternoon, David Ortiz and the Red Sox will go to an arbitration hearing. We are not fans of that idea at TSWD. Earlier this offseason, Ortiz said ‘no thanks’ to a two-year offer worth $18MM. I’m guessing that if the two sides are able to successfully avoid a hearing on Monday, it will take a two-year deal in the neighborhood of $20-22MM. I’m not sure if GM Ben Cherington is willing to commit multiple years and big dollars to a guy who (and I mean this literally) could just stop producing due to his size, body, and age. No matter what, it is vital to remember that Ortiz will be a member of the 2012 Boston Red Sox. The outcome of a hearing likely will not affect how the Red Sox conduct their business going forward. It makes sense to think that the front office has budgeted their finances with the idea that they will lose the hearing. It would be a bad business move to assume a victory. It is difficult to predict how a three member panel will rule, but I’ll stick to my original forecast. The Red Sox will beat Ortiz in arbitration.
- According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of mlbtraderumors.com, the Rangers and Mike Napoli avoided arbitration and settled on a one-year deal worth $9.4MM. It is becoming increasingly clear that Texas does not have room for Roy Oswalt, both in their rotation and in their payroll. A one-year deal with St. Louis seemed imminent not long ago, but those talks have cooled. I’ve read a lot of message boards on a few different Red Sox blogs, and it seems like fans believe Oswalt is some sort of money hungry player. I do not believe that is the case. He turned down a one-year deal to pitch in Detroit worth $10MM. Geography, not dollar signs, is the driving force here. He may sit back and wait for an injury to occur in Spring Training and join up with a team then. Despite the fact that the he may not have many other options, I don’t see Oswalt with the Red Sox. At some point, the door needs to be closed on him. If he wanted to come to Boston, he would have signed here by now. Let’s collectively move on.
- Still no news on the compensation for former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes that the Cubs will be giving up a significant player when Commissioner Bud Selig finally makes a decision. I’m not saying that he’s incorrect. In fact, I hope he’s right, but I don’t see it. For now, I’ll assume the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ platform.