The Red Sox And Takashi Saito

3:23pm: Alex Speier of hears that the Red Sox have not outrighted Saito, though it would not be a surprise to see the club make such a move.

Speier notes that the Red Sox have to release Saito if they don't pick up his option. Since they want the chance to re-sign him this offseason, the Red Sox will likely outright him first if they decide he's not worth $6MM.

2:28pm: The Red Sox have outrighted Takashi Saito, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Now that Saito's off the team's 40-man roster, Cafardo expects the club to turn down its 2010 option for the righty's services. The Red Sox paid Saito $6MM this year and can choose to pay him the same amount next season.

Since Saito has more than three years of service time, he can choose to become a free agent. If he hits the open market, he'll face plenty of competition.

Saito will be 40 next year, but he did strike out 52 batters in 55.2 innings this year. He allowed 50 hits, 25 walks and six homers, so he's easier to hit than he was when he first signed with the Dodgers, but he remains effective.

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