Extension? We Think Not.

The Globe is reporting that the Red Sox will not extend Curt Schilling before the season begins, as was the pitcher’s wont and desire.  As such, he says he will file for free agency after the season is completed.  We thought that the Yankees would have been more willing to give Mariano Rivera the courtesy of an extension (though we also understand their hesitance in extending him long-term, considering his age), but with Curt it’s a bit different, as far as we are concerned.  He’s not the best ever and still pitching like it (a la Rivera).  He is declining, performance-wise, he’s over 40, and he’s still got a year left on his contract.  There’s really no urgent reason to spend next year’s money now on a player like Schilling, considering the youth of the starting staff.  If the Sox do end up extending him (now or later), then that’s fine by us: Curt’s still  a darn good pitcher, he wants a one-year deal, and for the same dollars as he makes now.  Not unreasonable demands.  Nor is the Sox’ position about waiting and seeing.   As for any kind of heated debate about whether the Sox aren’t doing right by the hurler, we think Curt says it best: “Now we go about getting ready for the season and doing the things we do".  His focus is on what matters.

Sounds like we can put this to bed as a controversy until later; both sides have handled this decision professionally.

28 comments… add one
  • I do understand the Sox standpoint on this issue, but I can’t help but think that even if Curt loses a step or two more this year, he’s still as good as most three or four starters on most teams, which means that if all he wants is an extension of his current deal, and at the same money, what’s the downside.
    Again, why are the Red Sox getting greedy now after this offseason’s check writing? It just makes no sense to me, unless the Red Sox really are thinking that they stand any chance of outdoing the Yankees (ha) for Zambrano next year. Maybe the Red Sox feel that they are just going to blow Z out of the water, which by the way would be awesome, but I don’t think Cashman will exercise his new “philosophy” when it comes to that deal.
    Curt is worth that money in my mind. Of course, if he’s not healthy, it’s a different story, but really, when was the last time an ace wasn’t healthy in his contract year? ha.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:09 am
  • haha.
    This is funny:
    Yank fans should in fact accept this, since if his history is any indication, he pitches pretty darn well in Yankee stadium!

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:20 am
  • “both sides have handled this decision professionally.”
    Both sides?
    I don’t think going on the radio and reiterating your threat to become a free agent if not given an extension right now comes across as particularly professional, SF.

    Andrews February 22, 2007, 10:20 am
  • If the extension isn’t about a raise, then why can’t it just be settled after the WS, during the 2 week exclusive negotiating period?
    – Proof that this is about Curt’d enormous ego.

    Andrews February 22, 2007, 10:23 am
  • That’s Curt’s…

    Andrews February 22, 2007, 10:24 am
  • Yeah, I don’t think that helped him at all. As it did not help Mo, they both would have been better off just knocking on the GM’s door and having a conversation man to man.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:27 am
  • I do believe that it’s not about the raise. He’s said he wants the same money and contract, just another year. So, yeah he’ll make more money, but not per year. It has nothing to do with his “ego”, but rather a poor decision to go through the media to get that extra year. He wants to pitch another year, and wants to do so with Boston – how is it egotistical to ask for it if he thinks he’s capable, which by the way he is.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:29 am
  • That’s Curt’s…
    is that not Mo?

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:30 am
  • “unless the Red Sox really are thinking that they stand any chance of outdoing the Yankees (ha) for Zambrano next year. Maybe the Red Sox feel that they are just going to blow Z out of the water, which by the way would be awesome, but I don’t think Cashman will exercise his new “philosophy” when it comes to that deal.”
    A- You need to lose the “Poor Old Red Sox” attitude. The Sox are no longer a distant 2nd in the payroll area. They make it and spend it at a very similar rate to the Yankees. So please Brad embrace the fact that you are just about as “Evil” as us now. Didn’t winning the Dice-K bid show you that?
    B- Cashman’s new “philosophy” has zero to do with Big Z. Throwing money at marginal FA’s and selling the future for the now are much different then giving a legit #1 16Mill/4 years. Nobody ever said he wouldn’t pay a premium for established superstars.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 22, 2007, 10:34 am
  • ugh. I’m near turning off EEI. It’s like listening to that tub of waste Francessa on FAN about Bernie. It’s crazy. Even if I remove the fact that I like Curt, people have to at least understand the business side of this.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:35 am
  • Trisk – when did I make the assumption that “poor old Red…” attitude? I just happen to think that all that money saved on Cashman’s part by not spending this year is going to Zambrano next year, which will eliminate the comp for him. Also, I happen to think that it doesn’t take a friggin genious to not overspend on mediocre talent, so offering praise for NOT doing that is hardly in my agenda here. I’ve applauded the Yankee offseason several times, but I do think that one off year (like Boston’s last year) will turn that all back around. Unless, of course George is dead, then all bets are off on where that organization will go or what new philosophy they will then adapt.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:40 am
  • they both would have been better off just knocking on the GM’s door and having a conversation man to man.”
    I agree completely.
    If it’s not about his ego, (the need for the sox to show “respect”) then why not just do it after the season? It’s not like he doesn’t have plenty of options if they pass.

    Andrews February 22, 2007, 10:41 am
  • I understand it 100%! Just like it’s business with Mo. Power pitchers like Curt(with the exception of Rocket) don’t gradually decline. It happens much quicker then say for Glavine, Moyer or Maddux, salad shooters. I would say waiting until season’s end is very prudent and wise. Not saying it will happen to Schilling, but it’s smart to make sure it doesn’t 1st.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 22, 2007, 10:41 am
  • 16Mill/4 years
    That would be the deal of the century if any team could pull that off for him. I’d imagine that he’s going to get something along the lines of a few million better than Zito. Is he a Boras guy? If not, he will be soon I would think. Just like Zito hiring him a few months before he hit the market, this kid is going to get flat out PAID.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:43 am
  • Not looking for applause.
    “It just makes no sense to me, unless the Red Sox really are thinking that they stand any chance of outdoing the Yankees (ha) for Zambrano next year.”
    That wasn’t a shot? That wasn’t a we can’t spend like the Yankees type of comment?

    Triskaidekaphobia February 22, 2007, 10:47 am
  • Between 16-18, that’s all I am saying.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 22, 2007, 10:48 am
  • no. It’s not.
    It’s meant along the lines of: the Red Sox spent a ton of money this year, while the Yanks did not, hence, the Yankees are going to be apt to throw some of that saved money that way. Trisk, do you really think that the Yankees are just going to “let” the Red Sox out-do them on this particular case?
    I wasn’t insinuating that the Red Sox were not capable or willing, I just think that when it comes to this guy, the Yankees are in the front seat based on THIS year.
    Also, I think the kid is probably going to get along the lines of 18 as well – for six.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 10:56 am
  • I think their need of SP after 2007 is what puts the pressure on them to be in the front seat.
    As for 6 years at 25 years old, I would guess 4/5 years are more likely. The market is ever changing and 6 might short change him LT.

    Triskaidekaphobia February 22, 2007, 11:02 am
  • There’s no no-trade clause on Schilling’s contract, so I continue to not understand why the Sox couldn’t agree to the extension, and if they decide they can get better out of Lester, Bowden or Buccholz in 2008, just trade him for prospects — unless there’s a handshake agreement that keeps the Sox no-clauses policy in tact but also gives Schilling the security he wants that he wouldn’t be shipped to Tampa for the last year of his career.
    I’m not unhappy that this is waiting, but I’m not particularly happy either.

    Paul SF February 22, 2007, 11:11 am
  • “shipped to Tampa for the last year of his career.”
    I must admit that I dread having to endure another year of this guy, but that might be fun… Perfect ending for him, IMO

    Andrews February 22, 2007, 11:24 am
  • I think that this is the right position for the Sox to take. Much as the media (and some of the fans) love to laud Schilling, the truth is that he’s only been an above average pitcher for about half a season out of the last two. He was awful (and hurt) in 2005 and his second half numbers last year aren’t exactly lights out:
    Pre ASB: 19GS 127.1IP 8.78 H/9 8.14 K/9 1.06 BB/9 3.61 ERA 1.09 WHIP
    Post ASB: 12GS 76.2IP 11.34 H/9 8.03 K/9 1.54 BB/9 4.61 ERA 1.43 WHIP
    If those second half numbers are a harbringer of things to come in 2007, then it would be really stupid to lock Schilling up now. If those numbers turn out to be more of a small sample size fluke, then Schilling will be worth perhaps a little extra money on the FA market. Seems pretty simple to me.

    mouse - SF February 22, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • Matsuzaka’s first bullpen session was 100 pitches deep. That’s amazing they let him do that, and I want to see the video of it.. Schilling threw live BP.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • Well, there’s nothing like having a guy with his ability pitching for a new contract. If they lose him, it’s not going to be good news, but if they do in fact lose him for more money, it’s because he was great this year, which I can deal with. Maybe it’s like Javy Lopez and the Braves. You know, without the juice.

    Brad February 22, 2007, 12:17 pm
  • I agree with mouse here regarding Schilling. There’s real reason to believe that Schilling is declining, and when pitchers lose it, they can lose it fast. What if Schilling has a David Cone-type of final year for the Sox in 2007? He’d not only cost $13 million but he’d be taking up a precious roster spot. Even if he has a good year next year, the Sox are front-runners to land him. I imagine he’s settled nicely in New England and would not be too anxious to pack up his family and leave. But if he does, the Sox wouldn’t be losing a pitcher that couldn’t be replaced either by signing another pitcher on the market or using someone in their system (Perhaps Bucholz will be ready by then?). The truth is the Sox have very little incentive to sign Schilling right now, so why do it?

    Nick-YF February 22, 2007, 12:19 pm
  • Re: Zambrano
    I have the feeling that the Mets will break the bank on him, more so than the Yanks or Sox. The Mets have a nice nucleus of hitters, but their pitching is mediocre at best. Z would make them favorites for the life of his contract.
    That said I hope the Yanks get him, because it will put more pressure on the Sox to sign Santana the following winter…

    tommy February 22, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Is he a Boras guy? If not, he will be soon I would think
    Zambrano has actually fired Boras before. Though that doesn’t preclude him enlisting his services again.
    My speculative guess is that Z recieves a contract for about $95M/5. Better than Zito? Check. Younger than Zito? Check. Better hitter than Zito? Check. More entertaining (thus more marketable?)? Check. I suppose he could go for 4 years, but Zito’s AAV will be a starting point in those negotiations.
    Yes, the market could change, and trickle back downward. But not for starting pitchers. The closest comp in terms of providing innings and semi-relative youth in next season’s FA market for starters is Mark Buehrle. So the question then becomes, how much better does that(Buehrle) make Zambrano look? Any team with the money and need for a long-term ace-type pitcher (off the top of my head: Dodgers, Cubs, Yanks, Sox (perhaps both colors)) will be in on the bidding. There could be more teams than just that. $19M/yr or more. He’ll get it.

    QuoSF February 22, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • really, the issue with Zambrano is whether Dusty Baker’s abuse will catch up with him sooner than later. He’s a great great pitcher. Don’t get me wrong, but I worry about those innings on his arm.

    Nick-YF February 22, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • …i heard somewhere that theo is trying to shed the blowhard image the sox have by letting shilling just go away…or, i made it up…

    dc February 23, 2007, 8:41 am

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