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Youkilis, Snyder swap numbers with Sox

Extra Bases:

Kevin Youkilis and the Sox exchanged salary numbers as part of the arbitration process, and because of the sizeable gap between numbers --Youkilis is asking $3.7 million, the Sox offered $2.525 million --it will be interesting to see whether the Sox elect to play hardball with their first baseman.

Last season, the sides could not agree on a contract figure, the club eventually renewing him at $424,500. The Sox have not gone to an arbitration hearing since Theo Epstein became GM prior to the 2003 season, though they came close last spring with Wily Mo Pena, the sides striking a deal about an hour before a scheduled hearing. The sides were only $475,000 apart before Pena signed for $1.875 million, below the midpoint.


Reliever Kyle Snyder also swapped numbers with the club, asking for $1.025m with the club offering $725,000. Earlier today, the Sox third arbitration-eligible player, reliever Javier Lopez, came to terms on a one-year, $840,000 contract.

If anybody knows, what's the option situation now with Snyder? Last season we couldn't demote him to Pawtucket or we could lose the rights to him. Is that the same this season? I would think not, but maybe I'm wrong.

To get to the real point of this post, who thinks Snyder should regain his long relief spot for the Red Sox next season? I thought he was effective but I wonder if the Sox could go another direction. I'm a fan of David Pauley but I'm not sure we can rely on him in that spot quite yet. I love watching Snyder's curve, though -- that pitch is gorgeous.

Thoughts? Should we play an "Over, Under" game to see what these numbers will come out looking like?