Red Sox Tying Up The Loose Ends
The Boston Red Sox made a few moves today to ensure that most of their 2009 roster stays intact for 2010.
According to MLB.com, Boston has picked up catcher Victor Martinez's $7.1 million club option for 2010.
Martinez hit .303 with 23 home runs and 108 driven in over the entire 2009 season, while hitting .336 with eight homers and 41 runs batted in after being traded to the Red Sox at the July trade deadline.
This was the Red Sox first order of business coming into the offseason. Martinez has been a consistent player for the better part of seven major league seasons now.
While his defense is not great by any stretch, his bat will more than make up for it batting in the number three spot of the Boston order.
The soon-to-be 31-year-old may prove to be even more valuable if the decline in production that we saw from David Ortiz in 2009 continues to steepen in 2010.
As for Boston's captain, and other catcher, the Red Sox declined Jason Varitek's $5 million club option for 2010 today. Varitek still has a $3 million option of his own with the team. However, it may take some heavy thinking on the 37-year-old's part as to whether or not he wants to be a backup to Martinez , play somewhere else as a starter, or call it a career.
Varitek, whose offensive production has suffered mightily over the past two seasons, batted .209 with 14 home runs in 106 games during 2009.
Boston also resigned knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield to a two-year contract this afternoon.
The financial details of the deal have not yet been released, however WEEI.com has reported that it could be worth $7 million over the two years.
With these loose ends out of the way, the Red Sox can now go after bigger fish on the market.
Currently, their star left-fielder Jason Bay is expected to test the free agent market, and the Red Sox have made it no secret that they want him to be in left field again this Opening Day.
Also, with the Seattle Mariners making it clear that they really have not interest in dealing their ace Felix Hernandez, Boston may now be seriously turning its attention towards acquiring Roy Halladay via trade.
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