How arbitration decisions could impact Red Sox
When the clock struck midnight and Monday turned to Tuesday, the Red
Sox had some more clarity to the market. Lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez
declined arbitration from the Braves, which means he is certainly
someone Boston will continue to pursue in an effort to shore up the
Having another lefty is not a be-all, end-all for
manager Terry Francona, but the Sox have long liked Gonzalez, who could
fill the void left by Billy Wagner. In essence, Gonzalez and Wagner
could swap positions as power lefties in the Boston and Atlanta
The question, however, is whether Gonzalez would
rather close elsewhere, an opportunity he won’t get in Boston as long
as Jonathan Papelbon is performing last call. And just because Rafael
Soriano, Atlanta’s hard-throwing righty, accepted arbitration, doesnt’
mean he can’t wind up in Boston. The Braves expect that Soriano,
feeling squeezed out by the addition of Wagner and Takashi Saito, will
be of the mind to request a trade.
Another player who has been
linked to the Red Sox who declined arbitration is third baseman Adrian
Beltre, a superb defender, albeit one whose offensive numbers have
declined in recent years. So if Boston makes a run at Beltre, you can be sure they will only do so if they have a trade worked out for Mike Lowell. Beltre is a Type B free agent, meaning the Mariners would get compensation if he leaves, but the Red Sox would not have to provide it. Ditto for Mark DeRosa, another free agent the Red Sox have kicked the tires on.
The Yankees are also in on DeRosa, who declined arbitration from the Cardinals. However, the versatile right-handed hitter, who can play corner infield and outfield, is looking for a three-year deal and would probably go somewhere where he can have a steady job, rather than play the roving utility role.