The Red Sox have exercised Tim Wakefield's $4 million perpetual team option for the 2009 season. Next year will mark Wakefield's 15th season with the team. Over that time Wake has knuckled his way to 164 wins in a Red Sox uniform, third only to Roger Clemens and Cy Young (192). On the flip side, he's given up 151 more home runs than any other Red Sox pitcher with 345 to Roger's 194.
On a side note, in this week's Fireside Chat's podcast, Paul expressed a thought that Wakefield may in fact retire this offseason. I think this move puts that idea out to pasture, but it does generate some speculation around how the starting five will be assembled next season.
Sure things: Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka
Likely: Wakefield, Buchholz
Possibly: Masterson, Bowden
Free Agents: Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, A.J. Burnett, and a litany of others
I think this move indicates a desire to pitch Justin Masterson out of the pen for one more year and allow Michael Bowden a year to spot start and groom in Triple-A.
What I don't know is what this means for Clay Buchholz? I think it is fair to say that if the Red Sox bring in a free agent starter to claim the 4/5 spot with Wake, that it may leave Buchholz as either (a) trade bait or (b) working his way back to the Majors.
Unless, Wakefield as your "long man" becomes a reality.