Links: Arbitration, winter league prospects, etc

The Extra Bases blog lists those players who are eligible for salary arbitration this offseason: Jonathan Papelbon, Ramon Ramirez, Hideki Okajima, Jeremy Hermida, Casey Kotchman, Manny Delcarmen, Fernando Cabrera and Brian Anderson. Boston must offer them a contract by December 12, or else they become non-tendered free agents. They consider Cabrera and Anderson likely to be non-tender candidates.

In a surprise announcement, pitcher Billy Wagner’s agent announced that his client may consider the Red Sox offer of arbitration, should they offer it to him. Wagner is a Type A free agent, so if he declines arbitration to go to free agency, the Sox would receive the signing team’s first-round pick (if unprotected) plus a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds of the 2010 draft. That would make him less attractive to some teams, possibly decreasing the value of the contract he could sign. This announcement is a change of position, since Wagner came to the Sox stating his desire to close in 2010, and the obvious fact that he is just short of 400 career saves. The Red Sox might not want to end up with a setup man who they would have to pay in the neighborhood of $10M next season (what Wagner might get if he accepts arbitration). This looks like an ill-advised (and poorly disguised) ploy to dissuade the Sox from offering arbitration in the first place, but I don’t think it’s effective against a well-financed team like Boston. Worst case, we have a lights-out lefty setup man for half a season, then we trade him in late June when he becomes eligible to be moved.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has agreed to train this offseason at Athletes’ Performance Institute in Arizona, where Dustin Pedroia has been training since before his MVP season. If the end of the year was any indication, poor conditioning may have played a big role in Dice-K’s early struggles. has a very useful page dedicated to organizational prospects playing winter ball this offseason. Here’s the page for the Red Sox prospects. Ryan Kalish is enjoying the Arizona Fall League, where he holds a .392 OBP in 62 AB.

Ryan Westmoreland is recovering nicely from surgery to repair his broken collarbone, and expects to begin strength training right after Thanksgiving.

The Red Sox are conducting interviews to fill the bench manager spot vacated by Brad Mills. They have also promoted Greg Barajas from Pawtucket to the position of assistant trainer with the Major League club.


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