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November 28, 2006
Sox close to signing Drew
BOSTON – According to industry sources throughout baseball, the Red Sox are nearing completion of a multiyear deal for free-agent outfielder J.D. Drew.
Drew stands ready to sign a four-year contract, with the two sides still at work on a fifth year that would offer the Red Sox some protection with the injury-prone Drew.
It’s unknown whether the fifth year will be in the form of a vesting option – under which Drew could guarantee the final year by reaching minimum numbers of games played and at-bats recorded – or a straight team option.
It’s expected that the contract will pay Drew approximately $14-$15 million per season, which could bring the total value of the deal to as much as $75 million.
The completion of the deal will not take place until at least the weekend, by which time the Dec. 1 deadline for teams to offer their own free agents salary arbitration will have passed. But a source with knowledge of Drew’s contract said last night that the Dodgers are prohibited from offering Drew arbitration.
As a technicality, Drew and the Sox must wait until after the Dec. 1 deadline, but the protective language negotiated by Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, with the Dodgers two years ago insures that Boston will not have to forfeit draft picks as compensation to Los Angeles for signing Drew.
The signing of Drew would give the Red Sox a productive No. 5 hitter to offer protection for David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. The Sox continue to field feelers on Ramirez, and one baseball executive last night indicated there are more interested teams for Ramirez than have been publicly acknowledged.
Interest in Ramirez is split between National and American League teams, but reports of the team inching closer to a deal for the superstar slugger appear to be premature.
-- SEAN McADAM
Posted by Art at 10:11 PM | Permalink
Sox make ''fair . . . comprehensive'' offer to Matsuzaka
The Red Sox have made an offer to pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka that Boston president Larry Lucchino describes as ''fair'' and ''comprehensive.''
Lucchino, in Tokyo on Tuesday after meeting with representatives of Matsuzaka’s Seibu Lions, said the Red Sox have taken the next step toward signing the Japanese star.
''We have sent a formal offer to Matsuzaka and his agent, Scott Boras,'' Lucchino said. ''I believe it is fair and comprehensive, and offers a great deal of security and a substantial level of compensation.''
Boston bid $51.1 million for the right to negotiate with Matsuzaka, who was the MVP of last spring’s World Baseball Classic. The team has until the end of Dec. 14 to sign him.
In his meetings with Seibu officials, Lucchino said he discussed the possibility of the Red Sox and the Lions forming a long-term ''working relationship.''
Such a relationship could help facilitate a deal if contract talks stall. Media reports have said the sides are far apart in early negotiations.
If the Red Sox don’t sign Matsuzaka, he returns to the Lions and could become a free agent following the 2007 season. To avoid that, the Lions could reduce the bid to help the sides reach a deal.
Lucchino brushed aside suggestions that the bid was made just to block the New York Yankees from signing Matsuzaka.
''I assure you that the notion that this is a primarily defensive maneuver is preposterous,'' Lucchino said, adding that $51.1 million is ''obviously a historical number but we are talking about a national living treasure and an exceptional baseball player.''
Lucchino sounded confident that a deal will be reached.
''We know it’s been his dream to play in the major leagues and we are proud that he will live out his dream in Boston with the Boston Red Sox,'' Lucchino said.
-- Associated Press
Posted by Art at 9:44 AM | Permalink