Red Sox Decline Foulke Option

As expected, the Red Sox declined the club option for $7.5M on reliever Keith Foulke.  He is due a $1.5M buyout if he chooses not to exercise his player option, which is $3.75M.  He would get a total of $5.25M if he chooses to exercise the option.

Theo Epstein, on some of the needs facing the Red Sox, said "in no particular order: starting pitcher, a couple of relievers (one lefthanded, preferably), a
right fielder, a backup catcher, a shortstop, and fill the bench with
quality players to complement the regulars." Epstein later added second
base to the list.

It was a tough year for Foulke, with injuries keeping him sidelined for more than two months in the middle of the season.  He had a solid September; I’m sure he will land somewhere if and when he chooses to move on.

10 comments… add one
  • Why do we have to pay him the buyout if he exercises his player option? That’s just bad negotiating.

    LocklandSF November 8, 2006, 2:46 pm
  • Well, he was the best available FA reliever on the market and arguably one of the best in the game when Boston signed him in for ’04, and considering his dominant performance that year, especially that brilliant post-season, it doesn’t look like a bad decision. If Boston didn’t pony up, someone else very likely would have, and then who knows what would have happened to Boston in ’04?
    Sure one could look back now and say that the Sox gave up too much to land him, but you can’t predict injuries. That whole “Burger King” thing was unfortunate, however.

    attackgerbil November 8, 2006, 3:16 pm
  • AG, don’t get me wrong, hell, I wouldn’t have minded paying him the full boat for just what he gave us in 04, but I’m more curious about why we have to pay the “buyout” if he ends up staying with the team through his player option.

    LocklandSF November 8, 2006, 4:45 pm
    If Foulke is healthy, I think he can return to form and be a valuable set up man/closer candidate. Check my post for more detail…

    Tim November 8, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • Nicely researched post, Tim. I will visit your site regularly from now on. (*for some reason, there are css defects that obscure part of the article under Omniweb/Safari, but not under Firefox on OSX, FYI)
    For the money it would take to land him for two years(13-14M, with an third year option), I expect NY to take a serious look at him. He was one of the guys that I coveted before he got to Boston, and with the past two years taken in whole in relation to his body of work, I think he is worth considering.

    attackgerbil November 8, 2006, 9:02 pm
  • I don’t think it would take that much to land him, AG, should he choose to try to pitch elsewhere rather than take the $5.25M to try to prove himself for a free agent push in 2007. I think he realizes his value is down due to injuries and some ineffectiveness, and that the days of him getting $6-7M/yr. are probably over. My guess is he exercises his option. He’s always kind of been characterized (and hasn’t done anything to refute it) as not being a “baseball guy”, so I would think he’d do what made the absolute most financial sense for him.
    Of course, I could be saying this simply because at a net cost of $3.75M (he gets the buyout either way, of course), he’s pretty likely to provide good value/innings for us out of the ‘pen next year.

    Quo November 8, 2006, 11:05 pm
  • Quo, not only is he not a “baseball guy,” he actually said in an interview that he doesn’t enjoy the game and the only reason he’s a pitcher is because he was good enough to make a living doing it.

    LocklandSF November 9, 2006, 9:18 am
  • Yeah, Lockland, it’s really amazing — probably the only player I’ve ever heard openly admit he doesn’t like his job. I’d give anything not to like a job that paid me at a minumum $5 million next year and allowed me to be on the mound for the final out of a World Series. (Not to criticize Foulke — if he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t like it, but wow, that’s hard to wrap my mind around).
    Anyway, Foulke is widely expected to exercise his option, assuming he feels healthy enough to pitch next season. If he’s healthy, it’s as good as any free-agent acquisition the Sox could land for the bullpen.

    Paul SF November 9, 2006, 10:19 am
  • …”as good as any”…right, he’s as good as you got, except paplebon…i just wonder how much of foulke’s troubles was in his head….no, i can’t prove it, but it seemed more like he was fighting himself than an injury…either way, he’s still a good gamble for that kind of money…

    dc November 10, 2006, 1:07 am
  • I think his head did have a lot to do with it, especially in 2005. He seemed to have gotten that straightened out last year. He looked like the Foulke of old once he got healthy in September.
    It’s a long shot, but what I was saying is if the Sox get a 100 percent Foulke, that’s a bigger addition than anything else the Sox could do this offseason.

    Paul SF November 10, 2006, 11:09 am

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