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Schilling Headed to Free Agency?

It appears as though the Red Sox are not going to take Curt Schilling up on his offer of $13M to pitch for the team in 2008.

From one horse's mouth:

"They're not going to offer me a contract until after the season," Schilling told WEEI's John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. -Boston Globe

And another's:

"At this age and stage it was probably more appropriate to make that contract decision at the end of the season," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said on WEEI this morning after Schilling's appearance.

Lucchino also said, however, that this didn't necessarily mean Schilling wouldn't be with the Sox next season.

"He's been a horse for us," Lucchino said. "He's been sensational over the years and this is, by no means, meant to be a sayonara to Curt Schilling in any way, shape or form." - also Boston Globe

I'm confused. Schilling is at least a $13M pitcher for one more year in a Gil-Meche-gets-$11m/yr market. I figure that Schilling would be worth $17M on the open market.

But before we get all riled up and overreact, there must be a logical argument for the Red Sox allowing Schilling to go to free agency. Maybe the Sox just don't think Schilling will have much left in the tank at age 42. Changing angles of pitch delivery and other tweaks to mechanics can signal the beginning of an abrupt decline for an former All-Star pitcher.

The Sox' Front Office has its own system of checks & balances, namely Lucchino, who likes star-power, and Epstein, who worships at the altar of Bill James. The Sox seem to want to take a better-safe-than-sorry approach, and pony up a few extra million bucks later to keep him.

I'd argue that we're better off with Schilling than without, but the Sox are certainly not desperate for pitching. Ostensibly, our rotation for 2008 will be Matsuzaka, Beckett, Papelbon, Wakefield, and Lester. I'd rather Lester be the long-man, for the sake of experience, but I think he'll be a good #5 in 2008. Wakefield would also make a fine long-man.

Of course, this whole discussion is just idle speculation. The Red Sox could very well still make an offer after they've seen him pitch a few Spring Training outings, or they may make Schilling a favorable offer during the season.

Fear not, intrepid Sox Fans. If Schilling leaves town, he won't pitch for the hated Yankees.

Schilling reiterated that even if he wasn't pitching in Boston next season, he wouldn't consider signing with the Yankees.

"That's not a place I think I could finish my career after what's happened here," he said. - Boston Globe

At least he knows where his legacy lies (I'm looking at you, Johnny).

What are your thoughts? Don't forget the poll. In case you've just landed on planet Earth, Curt had previously said that if he did not receive an extension during spring training, he would test free agency and pitch elsewhere.

Doing my best Sigmund Freud impression, "and how does that make you feel?"


Should the Red Sox extend Curt Schilling's contract for $13M in 2008?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Yes, definitely. Schilling is worth at least $13M for one year.
    (5 votes)
  • 57%
    No, wait to see how Curt does this season and pay him a few million more if he'll be an asset.
    (8 votes)
  • 7%
    No, Schilling will be 42 and we have too many young, talented pitchers.
    (1 vote)
14 votes total Vote Now