Thanks to Drugs Delaney for breaking the news here on OTM.
Long said to be one of the best bargains in baseball, Tim Wakefield's perpetual $4 million team option will not be picked up for the first time since 2005. Instead, the Red Sox today signed him to a two-year deal worth $5 million with incentives thought to be worth a maximum of $2 million. Those 2 years should gives him a good shot at taking over some team records--not a surprise, given his lengthy tenure with the team.
For the Sox, this deal not only shaves off about a million dollars from their 2010 budget, but more importantly, given its frontloaded nature ($3.5 million in 2010, $1.5 million in 2011) gives them salary relief to spend on the impressive 2011 free agent class.