Links 3-29-2010: Sox won’t go long with Beckett, get Schoenweis and Frandsen

Gordon Edes reports that the Sox are not willing to extend the same contract to Josh Beckett that was given to John Lackey this offseason. The difference seems to be in their concerns long-term about his shoulder; whereas Lackey had tricep and elbow issues the past two years, he seems to be healthy again. As a result, the Sox want to limit any deal to four years, rather than commit a fifth year to Beckett. Peter Abraham speculates that a four-year deal could be worth about $66M.

Soon after releasing lefty Brian Shouse the other day, the Sox signed LHP Scott Schoenweis to a minor league contract. Brian MacPherson at the ProJo gives us the slash lines of lefty hitters against Schoenweis since 2005. Pretty impressive. Apparently he has always wanted to play for the Sox. A widower and single father with four young kids, I do wish him the best of luck.

The Red Sox also made a deal with the Giants for infielder Kevin Frandsen this week. He’s not the strongest defender, but he’s good enough and he posted a strong .312/.369/.456 line at Triple-A (yes, that is the PCL, where all offense is exaggerated, but still!). Frandsen will in all likelihood fill the role of Jed Lowrie until he is fully recovered from his mononucleosis, which can knock out people for months in severe cases. Dave Cameron gave his take on Frandsen as a good utility infield option, and I don’t have much to add to that.

As anyone can see from his last start, Clay Buchholz is still a work in progress. It seems that the Red Sox are working with him to get his head straight while pitching. John Farrell has been nagging him all Spring about establishing the fastball early, and now pickoff throws to first have been taken out of his hands altogether. I do remember him throwing over an awful lot with certain baserunners, like Tampa’s Carl Crawford.

Here’s how the starting rotation will shake out at the beginning of the season. Dugout Central speculates that with six strong starters, the Red Sox could try a six-man rotation once Daisuke Matsuzaka rejoins the team. The Sox have talked about it in the past, so it is something they have considered. Any way to reduce wear and tear on our top three to keep them fresh for the playoffs sounds good to me.


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