If any of you are subscribed to the Hot Stove news feed, you may have been as overwhelmed as I was when I went online and saw 45 new updates!
Varitek declined arbitration, but I think that deep down, we all knew it was going to happen. It seems as if Theo only offered Varitek arbitration so that he would decline, because since he declined, the Sox will get two compensation draft picks should he sign with another team. So if this is the case, is Theo anticipating him signing with another team?
The situation is further complicated now that young Rangers catcher Gerald Laird is headed to Detroit. It would be harder for the Sox to acquire catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, unless they decided to give up Clay Buchholz, which is probably not going to happen. I’m pretty sure “Salty” used to play for the Braves, and I’m pretty sure that he has the longest name in baseball.
What confuses me is why Varitek would decline arbitration. Sure he wants a multi-year deal… and sure he wants more money I guess, but he is coming off the worst offensive season of his career. If Varitek had accepted arbitration, as some analysts put it, it probably would’ve been the best chance he had at making the $10 million he made in his last contract. Ideally, the Red Sox would want to retain Varitek and find a catcher who would be mentored by Varitek, or a successor if he was to sign with another team. Kevin Cash is definitely not ready to handle that yet.
The Red Sox also appear to be right in contention to acquire AJ Burnett. The biggest problems with that would be that he is seeking a five year deal, and the Red Sox would probably only offer him four (like what they did with Dice-K)… perhaps with a fifth year buy-out plan. Also the fact that he was (reportedly) very close to a deal with the Atlanta Braves, who were prepared to offer him a five-year deal.
The Red Sox are also stepping up their efforts to acquire the powerful switch hitter Mark Texieria, who is in the prime of his career. As we know, if we acquired him, Mike Lowell would be the most likely to be traded seeing that Youkilis is still under contractual control for the next two years, and Papi is basically the icon of the Red Sox. Then again, Mike Lowell has been a fan favorite since coming to Boston, seeing him go would be heart breaking for many of us. In my opinion, Tex would be great, but we don’t need him that badly, we got to Game 7 remember? Acquiring him would be like a mercantilist policy: there’s only so much wealth in the world (wealth is power in this case… hitting etc.) and you want to prevent others from getting wealth.
There have been some rumors regarding Derek Lowe, as of now, his top suitors are the Yankees, and Phillies.
The biggest news in baseball today is the Mets’ acquisition of K-Rod. They needed him since Wagner will be out the next season because of Tommy John Surgery (ouchhhh), and K-Rod is pretty much a perfect fit.
The Hot Stove went from zero-450 degrees and FAST, it’s flying with rumors, and hopefully more will appear as the Winter Meetings progress.