It was on this day in 1971 that the Red Sox signed Carl Yastrzemski to a three-year, $500K deal that was (at the time) the richest player contract in baseball history. Fast-forward 40 years and the annual minimum salary for a Major League player in 2011 was $414K.
Here are some items about the modern-day Sox…
- The 64-player roster released by the Red Sox yesterday is "most likely" not going to change as their Spring Training camp begins, a source tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. This means that it is unlikely that the Sox will add free agents like Roy Oswalt or Jason Varitek to the mix.
- Varitek has "not made any decisions yet" about playing in 2012, Varitek's agent Scott Boras tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). In case you missed it, another longtime BoSox veteran will announce his retirement today, as Tim Wakefield is hanging up the glove after 19 Major League seasons.
- The club's pitching woes have been caused by the lack of homegrown arms delivering over the last two seasons, says WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Following last season's collapse and all of the subsequent front office changes, the Red Sox are entering their most uncertain Spring Training in years, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
- Also from Abraham, he looks at ten pressing questions facing the Red Sox heading into the 2012 campaign.
- As part of a larger piece about team's offseason turnover, John Tomase of the Boston Herald notes that the Red Sox parted ways with their team doctor and strength coach from last season and also demoted trainer Mike Reinold. "Tired of watching their multimillion dollar investments break down, the organization cleaned house on the medical and training side of things, with the hope that new blood will reach players who in many cases resisted pleas to improve their conditioning," Tomase writes.
- Mark Melancon deserves an open shot at the closer's job, argues ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes. Melancon is currently expected to serve as a set-up man for another new acquisition, Andrew Bailey.