2008 Offseason: Focus falls on Francona, bullpen

Theo Epstein is reportedly focusing on an extension for Terry Francona and bolstering the best bullpen in the majors last season.

The Sox apparently have interest in former Chicago Cub Kerry Wood as a possible setup man. Wood has not been able to pitch much the last three seasons due to various injuries, but still has his velocity and stuff working, from reports last year. With several teams inquiring on him, Wood could be looking at a two or three-year deal.

Boston also offered a one-year deal to Mike Timlin, though the details have not been revealed.


2 Responses to 2008 Offseason: Focus falls on Francona, bullpen

  1. Pat says:

    Some people talk about getting Santana, and I thought that would be awesome, but I’ve since reconsidered. I think focusing on upgrading the bullpen is one of the best things we could do this offseason (from this point on). If all the parts are working, we can keep people healthy for the offseason, and keep the innings down on the starters. I’d like to see Coco traded for a good arm, from maybe the Twins, and I wouldn’t be suprised if Theo did too.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    As enticing as a frontline starter like Santana is, we have to be careful about the way we allocate the payroll. Our rotation made roughly $32-33M in 2007:

    $13M Schilling
    $6M Beckett
    $6M Matsuzaka
    $4M Wakefield
    $3M Tavarez
    min Lester

    That number will be similar this year, even without the addition of a big arm. I expect Schilling to reach most of his incentives, so if he earns around $12M, we’re looking at $34-35M.

    $10M Beckett
    $8M-14M Schilling
    $8M Matsuzaka
    $4M Wakefield
    min Lester
    min Buchholz

    Santana makes $13.25M this year, and will make $20-25M if he’s extended. And he would be replacing Lester and/or Buchholz, not one of the expensive guys. Schilling is expected to leave or retire for 2009, so that’s a big help.

    Dan Haren is a much more attractive fiscal option, as he has only makes $4M in 2008 and $5.5M in 2009 and has a cheap option ($6.75M) for 2010. Gotta remember that everyone currently in our rotation is just going to get more expensive from here on out.

    I’m in favor of getting one more quality starter IF the price is right in terms of prospects AND contractual viability. Of course the bullpen is a big priority too; it depends on what Crisp’s actual value ends up being this offseason, I guess. Improving in both areas is not out of the question, either.

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