Lucchino On Payroll, Ortiz, Wakefield, Varitek

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino appeared on SiriusXM Sports radio today to discuss a handful of topics, including payroll and David Ortiz's impending arbitration hearing. provided a transcript of his quotes, so let's dig in.

  • Not surprisingly, Lucchino scoffed at recent criticism that the Sox have been too frugal this offseason: Now, this year, if you want to talk specifically about 2012, we will have the highest payroll in the history of the Boston Red Sox in 2012. Will we eclipse the luxury tax threshold? To be sure, we will — once again. So I think the talk of us not spending needs to be viewed in the context of real facts and in comparisons to real dollars.
  • There will be no hard feelings against DH David Ortiz regarding his arbitration hearing, Lucchino said, adding that the sides will "move on" after the hearing barring an unforeseen settlement before then. Check out MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker for details on Ortiz's case.
  • Regarding outstanding offers of minor league contracts to Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek: "The decisions are now kind of in their hands as to what they’d like to do in this particular season.”
  • Lucchino has no regrets about signing Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142MM contract last offseason: "Don’t take a still photograph of year one of a seven-year deal and use it to conclude that the deal has been a success or been a failure."

35 Responses to Lucchino On Payroll, Ortiz, Wakefield, Varitek Leave a Reply

  1. Seanb1223 3 years ago

    Defensive? Who’s being defensive? I’m not being defensive. You’re the one being defensive.

  2. Photo?

    That deal is the CITIZEN KANE of bad contracts.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Barry Zito says hello.. Especially after he was regressing and losing velocity BEFORE he signed that 7/126m deal…

      If a pitcher cannot be successful in that canyon, there is no place on earth in which they can and CC showed no signs of a letup prior to his deal.

      Also, if you bothered to read the article, the consensus is his wrist was bothering him for much of the season and that was why he was having problems last season and *should* get fixed.

      There is/was no magic bullet to add 4-5mph back to Zito’s FB he had lost prior to SF giving him that monstrosity.

  3. hawkny1 3 years ago

    Be assured there will be 2-3 surprises among those 25 players who leave camp in Ft. Myers at the end of ST.  There always are.  My guess is perhaps two pitchers from the current list of signees will step forward, early, to establish themselves as new back end starters and/or middle relievers.  Given an opportunity too play, I look to the Sweeney/Ross combo for some offensive punch but not as good defensive play in right field, as Red Sox fans have become accustomed to over the last half decade. 

    I predict that Pedroia, Saltalamacchia and Crawford will start fast.  Youkilis and Gonzo won’t.  I also think that Bobby V. will have Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford and Ross become much more aggressive on the base paths than the team was encouraged to be in 2011.  Bobby likes to play pressure style baseball to bother opposing pitchers and to force errors in the field. He has the horses to do that with his current roster of base stealers.  Ells will continue to be a source of power, as will Ortiz, who will occasionally play some first base.I also sense that Beckett will have problems initially, as he and the other starters will be pushed to throw for more innings-per-start than was the case under Francona.  Bobby knows he can get more milage out of his pen if starters are urged to go seven or eight rather than 6 innings to register quality starts.  Lavarnway will earn a spot on the roster as back up catcher and occasional DH.  And lastly, Dice -K will be back, by mid-season, pitching in his best form, and pitching well for Bobby V. who will be an effective communicator and supporter for Matsuzaka,  because of his prior experiences managing Japanese players.  50-31 at mid-season should be achievable with this group. 

    • ellisburks 3 years ago

      I am ok with everything you said however Ortiz will not don a glove for the Sox unless it’s interleague and they put A-Gon in right. 

  4. Karkat 3 years ago

    Wow, Larry, defensive much? Coming off looking like kind of a jerk as a result =

    And if we’re being so cavalier about the luxury tax threshold, why haven’t we signed Roy Oswalt yet???

    • BoSoXaddict 3 years ago

      Why haven’t we signed Oswalt yet? Because he semingly doesn’t want to play for the Red Sox and has yet to accept or deny their offer.

      • Karkat 3 years ago

         So up the offer.

        • BoSoXaddict 3 years ago

          It’s not about the money. It has already been stated that the Sox’ offer was enough money-wise, but he doesn’t want to play so far away from his home.

          • Karkat 3 years ago

             I have a hard time believing that another 2-3 million couldn’t convince him.

          • j6takish 3 years ago

             Detroit offered him several million more, I don’t think money is his motivation

          • Karkat 3 years ago

             Figures the one player we need is the one we can’t buy. Why doesn’t this happen to New York =

          • jordan 3 years ago

            it did! cliff lee says HELLO! :)

          • Karkat 3 years ago

             Didn’t Cliff Lee take a bigger AAV with the Phillies though?

          • jordan 3 years ago

            DET offered him 10 million and he declined… and LL is right, that article he is referring to was completely baseless lacked any research about the topic. he has every right to come out defensive

          • Karkat 3 years ago

             D: I need to know who I’m supposed to be angry at!!!

            (Because we’re on the internet, I want to clarify ahead of time that that comment is said in jest. Although while we’re on the topic, who AM I supposed to be mad at?)

          • jordan 3 years ago

            the NEW CBA will will prevent teams like the yankees and the sox from spending huge amounts of money in the offseason starting next year (where it pretty much is a salary cap) and where sox and yankees will try and stay under (or be very very little over) the lux tax.. so i say blame the CBA creators. Not LL, JH,or ben, they are doing the best they can :)

          • Karkat 3 years ago

             But I thought it wasn’t about the money anyway 😛

            Maybe I’m supposed to be mad at Roy Oswalt? Maybe he’ll sign with a team I have tickets to and I can boo him >:D

  5. One would think that time would have caught up with Ortiz.  As long as the chemists can stay one step ahead and he can maintain bat speed he might be okay for another year or two.  I would have thought that Ortiz would have almost been ashamed to take the money that he was being offered and going through arbitration amazes me.  He cannot field.  He cannot run.  He has been good with the bat but is very predictable, thus the defensive shift. Out of five tools he has two.  His trademark is spitting on his batting gloves before coming up to bat.  A narcistic attitude but I guess one becomes like those they associate with.

    Wakefield and Veritek were legends in their time but it is time for both of them to stop adding sugar to the Kool-aid.  Both individuals were fine examples of athletes worth emulating and my kudos go out to the both of you.

    I’m glad Crawford is finally on a winning team.  If you have followed Crawford over the years you probably are aware of a few stats.  He has his multiple hit days (4-5) against weak teams and games that have no significance (games that you already have a 6 run lead).  Carl performs much better if there is no pressure. A good percentage of Crawford’s steals were against Boston’s pitchers.  Even Carl knows that he was overpaid and has not been a contributor.  He has not been a good fit and will probably start the year off on the disabed list so they can get some production from his spot.  He is traditionally awful in spring training and starts the year off that way.  Then comes a nonpressure situation and he usually rights his ship. 

  6. pft2 3 years ago

    I would think the Rays would have an interest in Tek. Young pitching staff, and they look pretty weak at catcher with Molina and a couple of inexperienced guys.

  7. Lastings 3 years ago

    But, Chan Ho Park is Korean…

  8. johnsilver 3 years ago

    HAHAHA.. Yeah.. There were some terribly bad contracts given away.. texas and Millwood also, Kevin Brown.. My all time worst might be Albert Bell and his “hip” contract.. Got paid 5 years and played 2 because his hip went out.. 65m for barely 2 years and a bad attitude to boot…

    He gives Zito a run for his money, as does Mike Hampton huh??

  9. Lastings 3 years ago

    Pretty ignorant statement…

  10. ECDevils 3 years ago

    I am curious where you are getting your information that the Sox can void Lackey’s contract due to TJ surgery. Everything that I have read indicates that the TJ surgery causes a 6th year at league minimum, which will lower the overall value of the contract.

  11. Assuming Ortiz is gone, I’m guessing Youk goes to DH and Middlebrooks is called up.  Obviously very dependent on Ortiz’s 2012 performance, with any material decline he is gone for 2013.

  12. stopgap 3 years ago

    well, at least Joey Belle was insured…

  13. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Maybe Hampton also? Just that both produced pretty much nothing while signing huge contracts.

    Agreed 100% both teams (Rockies also) they might have had good fortune with insured deals, but then.. Hampton continually tried to pitch off and on, so possibly the Rockies never got a dime and they later moved him anyway.

    Must have been the “Bell(e)” name or something that meant character issues.. George bell was a really bad apple also.

  14. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Yeah.. the clause you are thinking of was the option for an extra year to kick in at MLB minimum for a pre existing injury to his arm and am pretty sure they have already exercised that?

    Maybe one of the other Sox fans here could verify it, but am pretty sure that they have.


    apologies.. Should have read in your next post you already answered the question….

  15. BoSoXaddict 3 years ago

    Beckett doesn’t need to “rebound” – he had a fantastic season last year. All he needs to do is avoid his “every other year” pattern.

  16. pft2 3 years ago

    He has not had a decent September/October since 2007, even his so called fantastic last year.  Wakefield had a better ERA than Beckett in September.  He was a big part of the blame for the biggest regular season choke in history.

    And need I mention the chicken and beer that led to his manager being fired?

  17. RedSoxDynasty 3 years ago

    Actually all Beckett has to do is avoid the Fried Chicken, booze and chasing college girls andgrow the hell up! He might just be the biggest prima dona and phony in the game!

  18. slider32 3 years ago

    You snooze, you lose, I see the Sox finishing in 3rd place this year unless they can pick up Oswalt.

  19. BoSoXaddict 3 years ago

    You’re probably one of the people who thought the Sox should have traded him this offseason. Please.

  20. MaineSox 3 years ago

    The Yankees will finish 4th unless they trade Burnett.  See, I can do it too.

  21. johnsilver 3 years ago

    You know.. People that say here Catchers should take there “armor” off while being peace makers should take George bell’s and his foul disposition as a case in point for them to NEVER remove the face mask if you recall how bell sucker punched Richie gedman and broke his jaw back in ’88 as recall..

    bell got hit by a Sox pitcher (forget which one) and Bell charged the mound.. Geddy was a gentle person for anyone that knew him (and yes I did personally when he played for the Winter Haven Red Sox years ago) he didn’t have a foul bone in his body, so geddy was just following him out to the mound.. Bell whirled around and sucker punched Geddy in the face.. breaking his jaw after he had removed his mask..

    Case in point why Tek should have never removed his mask vs a certain NYY a few years back.. Keep the armor on vs certain people when you have it.. They have shown they will do anything, so keep your advantage also.

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