5 Boston Red Sox Free Agents Who Won't Get Paid This Winter
Now that Boston Red Sox fans have ample time ahead of them to decompress from another disappointing campaign and digest the steamed-garbage sandwich that was the 2012 season, the period of overanalyzing and griping about which offseason moves should and should not be made begins.
You'd be surprised at how many fans would agree that this is one of their favorite parts of the season.
From now until February, a flurry of moves can be expected to take place stemming from the mobile device that sits on the belt of general manager Ben Cherington, starting with the decision on which free-agent incumbent players to pursue, and which to turn their collective nose at.
Judging from the subpar crop of 2013 free agents, the decisions were likely made before the Red Sox whimpered the last out in the season finale at Yankee Stadium.
The only free agents worth bringing back? David Ortiz and Cody Ross.
Those two are no-brainers.
But as for the other five?
Here's why they won't be back, and why no other teams will be willing to pony up much dough for them.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
2012 salary: $1.5 million
I hope Aaron Cook saved some cash from the three-year deal he signed with Colorado in 2007, extending his contract through 2011. The terms of the deal were for three years and $30 million.
At the age of 33, coming off a 4-11, 5.65 ERA season, he'll never, ever, ever see that kind of money again.
Take into account that in just two of Cook's 11 seasons in the league he's had an ERA under 4.00 and the last three were all above 5.00, and Cook may never see the big leagues again.
Which brings me to a side note: Why was Cook even starting games toward the end of the season? Couldn't there have been a young pitcher that would benefit from major league, albeit meaningless, experience?
Either way, Cook won't be back, and barring some miraculous out-of-body experience, his days as a major league pitcher are all but numbered.
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
2012 salary: $6.375 million
Perhaps the forgotten man in the Josh Beckett/Carl Crawford/Adrian Gonzalez trade, Loney was unable to get things going at the dish with his new club. His slick fielding skills (.994 career fielding) won't be enough to keep him around in Boston, a town that expects a power-hitting first baseman, or at least a first baseman that knows the wood thing is supposed to be used to hit the white thing onto the green thing and not into the leather thing.
The first baseman hit just .230 in 30 games with Boston and somehow managed to hit two over the fence and drive in eight, but that really won't cut it here.
Loney, 28, will definitely benefit from teams taking a flier on him as a former high-draft pick (19th overall in 2002) who needs a change of scenery after failing to live up to expectations by his homegrown club, but his crummy Red Sox tenure didn't help his case.
He'll find a job for 2013, sure, but he won't be raking in the dough.
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
2012 contract: $1.5 million
Good news: Padilla was 4-1 in 2012.
Bad news: That stat is misleading, as the reliever had a 4.50 ERA and 1.480 WHIP, and allowed 10.6 hits per IP.
These numbers don't bode well for Padilla, 35, who made the team on a minor league contract after not garnering much interest last offseason.
While he had short stretches of competency, at no point did anyone feel comfortable with Padilla on the mound, nor does he really deserve a shot at a bullpen spot in Boston in 2013.
It's likely that he'll get some team to take a stab at him for another minor league deal with a spring training invite (Colorado Rockies, anyone?) but the chances of him making another major league team become slimmer by the second.
(Something that certainly can't be said about Padilla's waistline.)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
2012 salary: $6 million
Oh, you forgot about him, didn't you?
After saving a combined 167 games for the Chicago White Sox between 2006-10, Jenks looked like a solid investment to set up Jonathan Papelbon in 2011.
Fast-forward 19 appearances, a 6.32 ERA and $12 million, and the Red Sox finally have Jenks off their books after submitting his July release.
Will he be back?
Will someone else pay him?
Will the injury-prone, drunk-driving reliever find another job?
Sure, but you might see him on the same diamond as Roger Clemens, playing for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
2012 salary: $10 million
Six years later, Operation Dice-K has been put to rest.
Over the past four seasons, Matsuzaka racked up a mere 17 wins after starting his career with campaigns of 15-12 and 18-3. For those not keeping track of the math at home, the Red Sox paid approximately $2.35 million for each of his wins from 2009-12.
The righty was 1-8 with an 8.28 ERA in 2012. It literally couldn't have gotten any worse.
No other major league team would be in their right mind to even take a look at him right now. Unfortunately, the number of teams not in their right minds is consistently shocking, so there's at least a chance he'll stick around MLB.
Otherwise, we've seen the last of Matsuzaka in America and he'll return gracefully to Japan, ready to unleash that gyro-ball on opposing hitters for the first time since he left it overseas in 2006.