Quick Musings on the Latest Sox Rumors

Billy Wagner According to MLB Trade Rumors, Billy Wagner is considering accepting an arbitration deal from the BoSox because he "loved his experience with the Red Sox enough that's it's now a possibility." That is an MLB Trade Rumors quote, not Wagner directly from Wagner's mouth. However, it's hard not to be skeptical of his sudden change of heart, as no one could love a city enough from four short weeks to make a complete 180 in their opinion of the team and their place within it... Varitek's Player Option Due at Midnight ***UPDATE: Varitek has officially picked up his $3 million player option. As we continue to follow the Jason Varitek story, his contract is undergoing more flip-flopping than a Brett Favre retirement or Florida in the 2000 presidential election. Is he or isn't he? We'll find out before the end of the day, though the verdict is still out as to whether it would be better for him to re-sign... Mauer Extension Talks Begin While all of Boston awaits the man of our dreams... er, catcher of our dreams leaving Minnesota for our nightly NESN living room broadcast, agent Ron Shapiro is beginning to discuss a contract extension for his all-world catcher...

Billy Wagner

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Billy Wagner is considering accepting an arbitration deal from the BoSox because he “loved his experience with the Red Sox enough that’s it’s now a possibility.” That is an MLB Trade Rumors quote, not Wagner directly from Wagner’s mouth. However, it’s hard not to be skeptical of his sudden change of heart, as no one could love a city enough from four short weeks to make a complete 180 in their opinion of the team and their place within it.

If he were to stay, he would only close if Papelbon were moved, which was the primary reason Wagner didn’t want to be a Red Sock in 2010.

What seems to have happened is that Wagner’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, has realized that the market for high-priced relievers coming off Tommy John surgery is not what it once was – given the current state of the baseball economy and the number of non-tendered free agents that are expected to hit the market this off-season. He doesn’t want to take a significant pay cut to close, which is likely what would happen given his Type A tag. The Type A ranking is a killer nowadays for non-Holliday/Bay/Lackey-esque free agents – and an aging, recovering ex-closer does not fall into that upper echelon.

No, Wagner has not had a change of heart – his agent has just smartened up a bit.

Varitek’s Player Option Due at Midnight

***UPDATE: Varitek has officially picked up his $3 million player option.

As we continue to follow the Jason Varitek story, his contract is undergoing more flip-flopping than a Brett Favre retirement or Florida in the 2000 presidential election. Is he or isn’t he? We’ll find out before the end of the day, though the verdict is still out as to whether it would be better for him to re-sign. Sure, he struggles against the running game and can’t hit right-handers. However, he’s the team Captain, has provided the Boston faithful with years of great service, and it would be great for the city and for Varitek to see him retire in a Sox uniform.

As a slightly overpriced backup catcher, I’ll root for the signing under the condition that he only bats against lefties and is explicitly the backup. No exceptions.

Mauer Extension Talks Begin

While all of Boston awaits the man of our dreams… er, catcher of our dreams leaving Minnesota for our nightly NESN living room broadcast, agent Ron Shapiro is beginning to discuss a contract extension for his all-world catcher.

While the Twins will have to pony up quite a bit more than they would like to retain their franchise player, there are few players more valuable than Joe Mauer.

Everyone paying attention to the Sox’ off-season should stop what their doing to call Minnesota and beg them to let him walk – or at least clog the phone lines so Shapiro can’t get through.

But, now that the moment is upon us, we need to ask ourselves one question – do we extend V-Mart now, before the big domino falls and his price goes up? Or, do we wait and see on Mauer, hoping we can land the big fish on the open market?

And, as an aside, if you’re curious about the details of baseball contract negotiations, check out Shapiro’s book, The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins – Especially You! From the man who represented Mauer, Cal Ripken Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray, the book is an excellent read and one your shouldn’t miss.

And, lastly, every time I see an Al Davis/Tom Cable/Oakland Raiders update on ESPN, it makes me all the more grateful that Boston has John Henry as an owner. Commanding the team at a nice professional distance, he gives our manager and GM space to do their jobs without distractions or restrictions. Thanks, John.

Categories: Billy Wagner Boston Red Sox Jason Varitek Joe Mauer Quick Post

15 Responses to “Quick Musings on the Latest Sox Rumors” Subscribe

  1. B_isback November 11, 2009 at 7:14 PM #

    Yes to extending Victor. To me, if he isn't catching, he is the best fit for the future DH role if Papi can't cut it. Even if Papi bounces back, this is the last year of his contract. Vmart can obviously catch and play at first in addition. There won't be tough roster decisions during the interleague schedule.

    If the Twins can't extend Mauer and decide to trade him, the Sox should trade the farm and give him an A-rod type deal. This is the one player in baseball I consider worth it.

  2. B_isback November 11, 2009 at 7:23 PM #

    Varitek exercising his option shouldn't prevent obtaining Mauer with Vmart also signed. Trade or cut him. What's $3 million dead money at C compared to the dead money the Sox have had at SS over the years?

  3. donna November 11, 2009 at 7:40 PM #

    WOW i am glad to see Jason return for one more year… and hopefully he can retire as a RS, maybe even have a really impressive year – who knows what the extra rest/less everyday grind will do for him…
    If keeping Wagner means trading away some promising young arms in the farm i'd rather see him go.. unless trading away those pieces gives us a Mauer or an AGon. WHile i think Wagner has promise he is getting up there and seems like a potential Favre situation, one i would not want the RS to have to go thru. i do not know but i think it was we, the fans, doing the Favre thing with Varitek – some hoping he'd retire, others, like me, hoping he gets one more year in the red sox. It might be interesting to gauge whether Wagner's teammates want him to return – as i bet many are happy to see Jason again.
    interesting issue – yes lock up VMArt now or hope like hell that we can net Mauer somehow ( and not let the Yankees get a hand in …) – i agree with you, B, ext VMart as he is versatile and his bat is good. even if only for 1/1 beyond next year…

  4. evanbrunell November 11, 2009 at 8:03 PM #

    Wow, Hideki Matsui is apparently coveted by the Red Sox…

    • Sean_O November 11, 2009 at 9:33 PM #

      As I explained previously, this would be the worst thing ever. Perhaps as bad as us signing Holliday.

    • JoeSox November 12, 2009 at 2:40 AM #

      Pfft, according to some "inside source" translated through a Japanese website. I just have a hard time believing it, personally. He can't even really play LF more than a day or two in a row.

  5. donna November 12, 2009 at 12:50 AM #

    do we think he would want to play for the RS?! he certainly is clutch, and still has some energy in those legs…

  6. James November 11, 2009 at 8:51 PM #

    Any chance Wagner's agent is saying that because they think the Sox could be afraid to get stuck with him instead of 2 draft picks? Granted it would be great to have him back in set up but at $8 million is that too much of a luxury?

  7. E_Rock November 11, 2009 at 11:03 PM #

    i've always been an admirer of Matsui. you can spout off about the numbers all you want, i still like him. i think he'd be just fine if we had a hole at DH, not so sure about him in LF full time though. its gotta be some ploy from Matsui/jhis agent in the negotiations. wouldn't be surprised to hear Damon say something similar

    • Sean_O November 12, 2009 at 2:13 AM #

      He's a Yankee, we don't want him. Simple as that.

  8. Timbo November 12, 2009 at 12:14 AM #

    If mauer goes to free agency, he goes to the Yankees. He would be their catcher of the future, the perfect successor to Posada, who will move to first base or DH or backup catcher or whatever. They'll offer mauer some unconscionable amount of money, $30 mil/year or something that epstein would never consider. That seems so unbearably obvious it makes me sad to see fellow red sox fans moon over him. Could we get him in a blockbuster trade and sign him long term? Perhaps. But personally, I'll stick with hoping mauer extends his contract and stays with wimpy minnesota. Kind of like my feeling about pujols. Go ahead, buddy. Stay in the NL for as long as you like.

    • Gerry November 12, 2009 at 2:45 AM #

      Agree. Besides, if Mauer can get a long term contract in the neighborhood of $20MM per year, remain in his home town, hang out with his childhood and school buddies, take great care of his kids, grand kids, great grand kids, and extended family, be THE biggest home town star in that world, retire a multi-multi-multi-multi-millionaire and, upon retirement, do whatever he wants to do at home: successfully run for governor or senator, or open a string of bait shops, or do volunteer work in Bimigi or what-ever-he-feels-like-doing-forever, why the heck would he give that up?

      What sane person would give up what makes him happy and significant, for some extra money that he could never possibly spend or use; certainly not to buy the happiness and idyllic lifestyle he will have left behind for $$. Please note that Boras is NOT his agent. Moral. Extend V-Mart now. Try for A-Gon now or at the trade deadline. Work out a plan for Tek to be a player-coach to bring along those kids. Fix LF.

  9. Gerry November 12, 2009 at 12:21 PM #

    Forgot. $20MM in MN goes about as far as $30MM in NYC or Boston. And MN fans, like those in St. Louis and other midwestern cities, have a strong culture of supporting their players through thick and thin. This is not always true in ALE. Who needs the haters? Who needs the grief? He seems to be a well-balanced guy with the right priorities. If so, it's a no brainer, he'll try to bring more post season play to the twin cities and, with that lineup surrounding him, he will succeed.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Matsui in Red, Varitek’s ‘C’ | Fire Brand of the American League - November 12, 2009

    [...] Previous [...]