R&R

Josh Beckett’s relaxing at his South Texas ranch (and the weather’s beautiful in this part of the world, by the way), presumably sipping some sweet tea and reflecting on having completed one of the best postseasons in baseball history.

In fact, all the Red Sox seem to be laying low. The parade’s over, negotiations with the two big free agents don’t begin until next week, all the drama (like usual) is occurring a couple hundred miles to the southwest. It’s a calm, relaxing time — helped immensely by the fact that, unlike 2004, the Sox only have a couple big-time free agents to worry about, and none the caliber of Pedro Martinez or Jason Varitek.

That situation is largely a product of design, as opposed to happy coincidence — the Sox have a lot of young players locked up for a long time, which has led pundits already to begin saying they could be back in the Series next season, if not winning it. For a very good roundup of the State of the Red Sox, though it does trend toward the optimistic side, check out Baseball Analysts and their three-part series.

We’re not ready to get on that bandwagon yet. We’re always nervous about the Yankees will do, the Indians look to only get better, and there’s always a sleeper out there, waiting to knock off the defending champs. But less than a week after the Series, there’s a feeling of deep contentment in Red Sox Nation and, for the first time, a feeling that next year could be even better.

16 comments… add one

  • As long as Josh Beckett is the same Josh Beckett (no reason to think there would be regression) in 2008 the Sox have to be considered the front runners.
    Youkilis is up for arbitration, so his near minimum salary will certainly change.
    Lowell may not be Pedro or Varitek, but I think he should be priority #1 for the Sox. I have seen some posts about playing Papi full time at first and I just think that changes the dynamic of your infield. Youkilis could move to 3rd and replace Lowell’s defense, but who plays first that’s the issue. Lowell puts the Sox in the same situation as Posada does the Yankees…get tied in for extra years with an older player or get stuck searching for a replacement that won’t be anywhere near what they could give you in years 1 and 2. I think in both cases you have to go with the guy you know and hope years 3 and 4 aren’t unbearable.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • “or get stuck searching for a replacement that won’t be anywhere near what they could give you in years 1 and 2″
    Well, there is one guy who’d be better and he’s on the market.

    Nick November 1, 2007, 1:03 pm
  • Nick, I could only hope and pray the Sox go after “The Cooler.” But Theo seems too smart to let him come in and upset the balance of this already mighty ball club.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 1:05 pm
  • odd, that my name came up without the “YF”. It was me.

    Nick-YF November 1, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • I pray they don’t sign him. A-Rod would make the Sox ridiculous.

    Nick-YF November 1, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • My only question today:
    Do you offer arbitration to Schilling and Gagne?
    If they accept, the Sox could win up paying Schill more than 13 million and Gagme more than 8.5 million (both their 2007 salaries).
    If they don’t offer, they get no draft picks (2 for Curt, 1 for Gagme).
    No worries on Lowell cause he’ll get a multiyear offer. Timlin, even if he accepts, would still be in the neighborhood of 3 million.

    Pete November 1, 2007, 1:09 pm
  • On Paper they would look unbeatable! Unfortunately as we have experienced plenty of times in the past, you don’t play games on paper. His talent fits, but the drama he brings doesn’t. I can’t see Pedroia and Youkilis endorsing/being happy about such a signing.

    John - YF November 1, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • I think it’s a no-brainer to offer Gagne arbitration. He wants to be a closer and will not likely accept staying in Boston.

    Nick-YF November 1, 2007, 1:11 pm
  • But Nick, would Gagme get even a one year offer for 8 million? There are a lot of questions about his right now.

    Pete November 1, 2007, 1:15 pm
  • Since Gagne is a type B free agent, no team signing him will lose their pick, so it’s a nobrainer for the Sox to offer him arbitration – at least they can get him either for one year at a relatively low price, or they get a sandwich pick.

    Digit- SF November 1, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • 8 – 10 million is a low price for Gagme?

    Pete November 1, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • Even in arb, Gagne wouldn’t make $8.5M. He would lose that case, I think. I think he wouldn’t want to come back to Boston.
    As for Schilling, why not offer him arb? I’m sure he could get more on the market than he could in court, and if the Sox are “forced” to take him for another year, is that so bad?

    Paul SF November 1, 2007, 1:54 pm
  • Just watched Papelbon’s Letterman interview (thank the Gods for Texas Gal. Best. Video. Website. Ever.)… May I just say.. that kid is batshit insane

    Dionysus November 1, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • Since when does arbitration lead to a pay cut? I know players aren’t guaranteed to get a raise, but I don’t remember a case where their salary is cut.
    Gagne made 8.5 million this year. I can’t see him getting less than that in arbitration. His free agent offers would likely be like last year – 6 million and incentive laden. So he could stand to make 2 million just going to arbitration.
    Schilling made 13 million this year. Same deal again. He may get only that (and the one year he wants) if he accepts. But true he could make a little bit more if he rejects and goes the free agent route.

    Pete November 1, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • I notice in that Papelbon interview, he doesn’t seem to have any problem with ARod joining the team…

    stuck working November 1, 2007, 3:10 pm
  • This is one of those things where you’ll never know what players actually think. Who wants to go on record saying, “I never want that scumbag coming to Boston,” and then have to apologize when he gets signed?

    Paul SF November 1, 2007, 3:19 pm

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