FORT MYERS, Fla. Jonathan Papelbon wants a new contract before Thursday, when the Red Sox plan to renew contracts of any unsigned players. He doesn't have any leverage.
Because he didn't have enough major league service time to be eligible for arbitration, the team can decide on his 2008 salary. After this season, the star closer will be eligible for arbitration."I'm at the mercy of the club right now to a certain extent," Papelbon said Tuesday after pitching a perfect inning in Boston's 5-3 exhibition win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. "It's just a matter of ironing out the numbers. We haven't ironed them out yet and, hopefully, we can get to a mutual agreement. I don't want to renew. I don't want to. But if I have to, I have to."
DR WANTS TO BE HOST OF WORLD TOURNEY: The president of the Dominican Republic's baseball league said the nation will pull out of next year's World Baseball Classic if it is not chosen as a site.
"If they do not give us the opportunity of being a host, like we have requested, the Dominican Republic will not participate," league president Leonardo Matos Berrido said at a news conference Monday.
The tournament is jointly run by Major League Baseball and the players' association. Both declined comment.When the WBC began in 2006, sites were Anaheim, Calif.; Kissimmee, Fla.; Phoenix; San Diego; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Tokyo. Tournament organizers said the 2009 event will include the same 16 teams from the 2006 tournament, which was won by Japan.
HAWPE AGREES TO $17M DEAL: Brad Hawpe and Colorado agreed Tuesday to a $17,425,000, three-year contract, making the right fielder the fourth key Rockies player to receive a longterm deal following the team's first World Series appearance.
The deal, which includes a club option for 2011, replaces the $3,925,000, one-year contract that had been agreed to in January.