A Giant Thank You and Contract Updates
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m still slacking when it comes to writing in this blog. I was gonna write a pre-SoxFest entry when I came to the MLBlogs homepage and noticed the 2009 Latest Leaders were posted. Imagine my surprise when I clicked the link and saw that The Diatribe was number fifteen! I was surprised I was that high considering I wrote, like, 15 entries between August and the end of the year. Yet you all kept coming back and reading the few entries I posted. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You have no idea how much this means to me. Especially now that I’m waiting on acceptance or rejection letters from journalism schools.
In the past week, the Sox have signed players to new contracts. They had four aribitration-eligible players (John Danks, Carlos Quentin, Bobby Jenks, and Tony Pena), and three have contracts for 2010.
The last time the Sox went to arbitration hearings was in 2001, so they’re looking to keep that streak going. So far, so good. On Saturday, the Sox signed Bobby Jenks and Carlos Quentin to one-year deals. Bobby got $7.5 million, an upgrade from last year’s $5.6 million. Carlos, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, got a $3.2 million deal.
Bobby had a bit of a down year last season with a 3-4 record, a 3.71 ERA, and 29 saves in 35 chances. But everyone has a down year, and Bobby’s usually pretty reliable. A lot of people blamed it on his weight, but most of the issues seemed to me to be unfortunate injuries and health problems. I think Bobby’s gonna bounce back and be well worth the money he’s getting this year.
Carlos DEFINITELY had a down year last season. In 2008, he probably would have been AL MVP had he not broken his wrist and missed the last month of the season. He was an All Star, he won the Silver Slugger, he had an amazing season. 2009 was rough for Carlos, as he only batted .236 with 21 homers since he spent almost two months on the disabled list die to plantar fasciitis. If the plantar fasciitis doesn’t bother him, I can see Carlos returning to 2008 form and having a monster season.
Today the Sox signed Tony Pena to a one-year deal worth $1.2 million. I’ve been back and forth about Pena since we acquired him in July. Sometimes he’s good, sometimes he’s bad. Since he flip flopped a lot, I always get nervous when he comes into a game. That said, he needs to prove to me that he’s worth $1.2 million this year. Especially since I’m still peeved that DJ Carrasco was non-tendered and is now a Pirate. I hope Tony is worth the money.
Prior to signing any arb-eligible players, the Sox agreed to terms with Ramon Castro. He has a one-year contract for $800,000 which includes a club option for 2011. Ramon wasn’t a bad backup to AJ. He was probably one of the better ones we’ve had in a while, actually. This gives Tyler Flowers more time to develop in the minors before he’s either a backup or the starting catcher.
The Sox have one arbitration-eligible player left to sign. Of course, he’s the one player I’ve wanted to hear about all off-season: John Danks. John is ridiculously awesome. He pitched 200+ innings for the first time in his young career, he won a career-high 13 games last season, and he threw his first complete game. He had an AMAZING season, and he’s only been getting better since his debut in 2007. He missed a start last season, due to a circulation problem in his finger, which seems to no longer be a problem. At that time, he quit chewing tobacco and has remaind snuff-free for the past six months. (Which makes me happy because that sh*t’s bad for you.)
I’m anxious to see what kind of contract he’ll get. I’d like a long-term contract rather than a one-year deal since we all know he’s worth it. And he’s said on numerous occasions that he wants a long-term contract with the Sox. He exchanges numbers with the Sox tomorrow, so we’ll see how close to a deal he is tomorrow. John, we want you here as much as you wanna stay. Trust me on this. You’re phenomenal, and our starting rotation is better with you in it.
You knew this section was coming hahaha! SoxFest starts this Friday. In four days. I’m ecstatic. Knowing I get to see a lot of my boys makes me so happy. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll get to see some pictures before I post them in a blog. Namely the one I’d better be getting with AJ Pierzynski. You know, the one that will forever and ever be my blog picture.
A schedule has yet to be released, so I’m REALLY hoping one will be up soon. Much planning goes into where to be and when. Especially when you’re going with another person.
Photo credits: Sox photographer on my camera; Getty images