January 19, 2006 Theo returns By Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff The Red Sox today announced that Theo Epstein will rejoin the organization. Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, President/CEO Larry Lucchino and Epstein issued the following joint statement: Ã¢â‚¬Å“As you know, we have spoken frequently during the last 10 weeks. We have engaged in healthy, spirited debates about what it will take over the long-term for the Red Sox to remain a great organization and, in fact, become a more effective organization in philosophy, approaches and ideals. Ironically, TheoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s departure has brought us closer together in many respects, and, thanks to these conversations, we now enjoy the bonds of a shared vision for the organizationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s future that did not exist on October 31. With this vision in place, Theo will return to the Red Sox in a full-time baseball operations capacity, details of which will be announced next week.Ã¢â‚¬ The Red Sox and Theo Epstein will have no further comment until next week. Posted By: ssilva | Time: 07:27:05 PM | Link | Any thoughts on this blog entry? Sound off here -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- January 19, 2006 Arroyo deal official By David Lefort, Boston.com Staff The Red Sox announced today that they've reached an agreement on a three-year deal with pitcher Bronson Arroyo, avoiding arbitration. The deal is believed to be worth about $12 million. The new deal would appear to make Arroyo more vulnerable to being dealt to a team like Tampa Bay, which is seeking affordable starting pitching and has a player the Sox covet in shortstop/leadoff hitter Julio Lugo. However, Arroyo said today that he received assurances he was not being shopped around. "They didn't give me any guarantees," Arroyo said, "but [co-GMs] Jed [Hoyer] and Ben [Cherington] both stated to me that there was no deal on the table for me, and that at no time in the near future did they see me going anywhere." Arroyo went 14-10 with a 4.51 ERA last season, pitching 205 1-3 innings. He made $1,925,000 last season and asked for $4.2 million in arbitration. The team offered $2.95 million. More comments from Arroyo today: On going against the advice of his agents: "I agreed to this contract with strong advice from them not to sign it, simply for the reason that I want to play in this town. I wouldn't have signed a deal in any other place." "They basically advised me against it for one because I signed at a discount, and arbitration would have been better ... and they worried that I would be traded to a [small]-market team like the Royals or Devil Rays." "I think they felt like I was leaving close to $4 million on the table [by taking this deal] ... they thought three years and $15 million was what they thought I'd make [if I went to arbitration each of those three years]." "Nothing is guaranteed in life ... obviously at this point in my career it's benefiting me to have a little bit of security." On staying in Boston: "The reason I took a discount is because ... I want to stay here for the rest of my career." "Everyone has their own take on the city, and how rabid the fans are. I love playing here. It's fun for me, it's exciting, every time you come to the ballpark you know you've got to bring your best, or people are going to criticize you for it." "I enjoy that fans enjoy their baseball here and they take it seriously." "I'm very happy and pleased that I ended up in the place I did ... In my heart, I always knew this day would come for me." On his goals for 2006: "My goal this year same as the last couple [of years] ... make all my starts, stay healthy, shoot for 15 wins and 200 innings ... anything above and beyond is really a bonus." On his role on the team in 2006: "I have not spoken to the team [about my role] ... I said in the past I'd do anything to help the team win. I've proven myself as a starter ... but if I need to pitch out of the bullpen, that's what I'll do ... but I feel confident I'll be a starter. "I'd much rather be a starter ... I enjoy the four days in between to prepare yourself mentally, and enjoy knowing that the game is my hands from the beginning." Material from the Associated Press and Chris Snow's story in today's Boston Globe was used in this report. Posted By: dlefort | Time: 12:55:52 PM | Link | Any thoughts on this blog entry? Sound off here -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- January 18, 2006 Tavarez signed By Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff While many lineup holes and questions remain, the 2006 Red Sox bullpen appears to be taking shape. The Red Sox officially announced that they have agreed to terms with righthander Julian Tavarez on a two-year, $6.7 million contract with a vesting option for 2008. Vesting options for pitchers are typically based on number of appearances or innings pitched. To make room for Tavarez on the 40-man roster, righthander Tim Bausher was designated for assignment. Tavarez, 32, officially joins the Red Sox after two seasons with the Cardinals, where he combined to go 9-7 with 51 holds, eight saves and a 2.90 ERA in 151 relief appearances during the last two campaigns. Tavarez tied for the NL league lead with a club-record 32 holds in 2005, while his 51 holds since the start of 2004 rank fifth in all of baseball. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder set a career low with a 2.38 ERA in 77 relief outings in 2004, his most appearances since leading the NL with 89 outings in 1997 with the Giants. In 642 major league appearances, including 79 as a starter, Tavarez is 72-55 with 21 saves and a 4.33 ERA. He joins his eighth organization and has pitched in all or part of 13 major league seasons with the Indians (1993-96), Giants (1997-99), the Rockies (2000), the Chicago Cubs (2001), Marlins (2002), Pirates (2003) and Cardinals (2004-05). In his 563 appearances out of the bullpen, Tavarez is 44-27 with a 3.81 ERA. He went 2-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 74 relief appearances with the Cardinals last season, posting back-to-back campaigns with at least 70 outings for the first time in his career. His 32 holds trailed only Tom Gordon and Scot Shields (33 apiece) for most in the majors, while his 14 double plays induced tied for third among all major league relievers. A native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Tavarez made his professional debut in the Indians organization in 1990 and quickly rose through the system to make his major league debut with Cleveland in 1993. He has pitched in five postseasons, including a pair of World Series with the Indians (1995) and Cardinals (2004) and boasts a 3.52 ERA (12 ER/30.2 IP) in 31 post-season relief outings. As a member of the pennant-winning Indians in 1995, Tavarez went 10-2 with a 2.44 ERA in 57 relief appearances. Exclusively used in relief for five seasons from 1995-99, he made 67 starts from 2000-02 with the Rockies, Cubs and Marlins before returning to the bullpen with the Pirates in 2003. Bausher, 26, went 3-2 with five saves and a 3.41 ERA in 44 relief appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2005. From the Boston Globe on Jan. 12: 'Sox bolster the bullpen with Tavarez' Posted By: ssilva | Time: 05:47:57 PM | Link | Any thoughts on this blog entry? Sound off here -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- January 17, 2006 Mota signs 1 year deal By Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff Reliever Guillermo Mota avoided a salary arbitration hearing by agreeing to terms with the Red Sox on a one-year, $3 million contract for 2006. Starters Josh Beckett and Bronson Arroyo, two other Red Sox pitchers who were eligible for arbitration, exchanged figures with the club and could reach agreements before their hearings next month. Mota is 22-24 with seven saves and a 3.61 ERA (186 ER/464.1 IP) in 386 major league relief appearances with the Expos (1999-2001), Dodgers (2002-04) and Marlins (2004-05). The righthander has limited opponents to a .231 batting average, including a .221 mark by lefthanders and a .238 mark by righthanders. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound righthander has 375 strikeouts in 464.1 innings, an average of 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings, and he has allowed only 41 home runs in his career, an average of one per 11.1 innings. The 32-year-old Mota went 2-2 with two saves and a 4.70 ERA last season with the Marlins, making 56 appearances and recording 14 holds. One of baseballÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most durable set-up men from 2003-04 with the Dodgers and Marlins, Mota led the National League with a career-high 105.0 relief innings in 2003 and 96.2 relief innings in 2004. In 2003, Mota posted career bests with a 1.97 ERA, 105.0 innings and 99 strikeouts while serving as a set-up man to Eric Gagne, who recorded 55 saves (second-most in major league history). The native of San Pedro de Macoris, DR set career highs in appearances (78), wins (nine) and holds (30) between the Dodgers and Marlins in 2004, tying for second in the league in relief wins and tying for fourth in holds. Beckett, who made $2,425,000 last year, asked for $4.9 million while the team offered $3.75 million. Arroyo made $1,925,000 last season and asked for $4.2 million. The team offered $2.95 million. Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.