Offseason Movin' and Shakin'
Sure, there are other sports like football, hockey and basketball to enjoy while you're waiting for the return of major league baseball. It's hard, we know. But the offseason is the critical time when your team's general managers make their moves -- smart or not -- in an attempt to inch closer to their ultimate goal: a World Series Championship. That is the ultimate goal, right? Sometimes we wonder.
So here's what's up. The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a $5.5 million, two-year contract with old school knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, giving him a $1.5 million raise from his perpetual annual club option.
The club also exercised their $7.7 million option on catcher Victor Martinez, but are not interested in Jason Varitek or Alex Gonzalez, whose options were declined. Hours later, Tek exercised his player option worth $3 million and has the opportunity to make an additional $2 million in incentives based on the number of games he starts.
The Philadelphia Phillies, still stunned by their 6-game Series loss to the World Champion New York Yankees, have declined their $5.5 million 2010 option on Pedro Feliz. The third baseman, who will receive a $500,000 buyout, hit just .266 with 12 homers and 82 RBIs last season.
However, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says he "won’t rule out" bringing him back if he's needed. Good news for all you Feliz fans out there, I guess.
The Minnesota Twins have picked up Michael Cuddyer's 2011 option of $10.5 million, after the right fielder hit a career-high and team-best 32 home runs with 94 RBIs in 2009. Cuddy took over for Justin Morneau at first base when the slugger went down with a back injury, and went on to bat .352 with seven bombs and 22 RBIs over the next 19 games, pretty much single-handedly carrying the Twins into the postseason.
Last, but certainly not least, the Tampa Bay Rays have taken on All-Star Carl Crawford's $10 million option for next season. Fan favorite and franchise leader in damn near every stat that doesn't involve a mound, the speedy left fielder hit .305 with 15 longballs, 68 RBIs and a career-high 60 steals in 2009.
Stick around BLB for all your offseason news, we'll be around.
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