Red Sox

Box Score Bank: Wakefield's Best

675002.jpg

Box Score Bank: Wakefield's Best

It's Tim Wakefield Day at Fenway Park, and what better way to pay respects to the old knuckle baller than by posting a random box score on a barely-existent blog.

With that, let's set the Box Score Bank for . . .

June 4, 1995

Bill Clinton was in his third year as President. The Motaba virus was running rampant through American movie theaters. "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" by Canadian prime minister Bryan Adams was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Jose Iglesias was five years old.

And over at Fenway Park, 28-year-old Tim Wakefield was spinning a 10-inning complete game masterpiece.

Final Score: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1

Seriously, though: 10 innings.

In all, Wake in the third start of his Red Sox career threw 135 pitches and gave up only six hits, one run (unearned) and one walk, while striking out five to earn the win. But as you can imagine, it wasn't easy.

Seattle's one run came in the top of the 10th inning, when Mike Blowers led off with a single, and moved to second on a bunt by future Red Sox legend Darren Bragg. Wake hit the next batter (Dan Wilson) to put runners on first and second. Next up, was Felix Fermin who grounded back to the mound . . . but Wakefield threw the ball away! Blowers scored on the error (so while the run was unearned, it was still Wake's fault) to put the Mariners up 1-0, and that was the score as they headed into the bottom of the 10th.

There, Bobby Ayala took over for the M's, struck out Wes Chamberlain, gave up a pinch-hit single to Bil Haselman and then . . .

Troy O'Leary followed with a two-run walk off homer to give Wakefield the legendary complete game victory.

It was the second and final 10-inning performance of Wake's career, along with April 27, 1993, when he threw 172 pitches in the Pirates 6-2 win.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

red_sox_addison_reed_080317.jpg

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone"...to the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and TheAthletic.com reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  
 

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

red-sox-mookie-betts.jpg

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.