November 24, 2003

Will Schilling Accept Trade To Red Sox? If Curt Schilling says Yes, he will be a member of the 2004 Red Sox. Boston has agreed to a deal that would send LHP Casey Fossum, RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP Jorge De La Rosa and OF Michael Goss to the Diamondbacks. A three-way deal was initially discussed -- Fossum and two prospects to the Brewers, first baseman Richie Sexson to Arizona, and Schilling to Boston -- but that was nixed. Two of the names of Red Sox prospects initially named -- C Kelly Shoppach and SS Hanley Ramirez -- will remain in the Boston system and because of that, this deal is a steal (SoSH thread).

Schilling has a no-trade clause, so Boston has a 72-hour window to talk with Schilling about the deal and a possible contract extension. Theo Epstein and John Henry are flying to Arizona tomorrow night (after they take Keith Foulke to the Celtics game tonight, sez Gammons, who believes the Sox can get both pitchers!). Schilling reportedly wants a three-year extension at about $15 million per year and will accept the trade if (1) he and the Red Sox agree on an extension and (2) Terry Francona is named the new manager. When asked to compare the three cities he was rumored to be going [New York, Philadelphia, Boston], Schilling said, "All three of these clubs have some kind of challenge with them. With Philadelphia winning a championship, one of two in the last century. With the Red Sox it would be winning the first one in the last century... and beating the Yankees. With the Yankees it would be joining a long line and the tremendous heritage and the prestige of being a Yankee, so there is bait to all three of them that looks good ... there's challenges to all three of them that I look forward to if that's what it ends up being, but the Boston situation presents a challenge that ... none of the other ones do." Quote from Dirt Dog.

With half of his 2004 salary is deferred, Schilling would cost the Red Sox only $6 million next year. Arizona was asking the Yankees for Soriano and Johnson, so if Boston convinced the Snakes to take Fossum, Lyon and two minor leaguers, man, did Theo clean Cashman's clock! Plus Epstein kept this deal under the radar (the story broke today in Arizona and New York, not Boston) so well that it prevented the Yankees from possibly running up the price. Mt. Steinbrenner is about to erupt.

Fossum has not pitched up to expectations on any consistent basis, Lyon is a spare part at best (though still quite young) and the prospects were not going to help Boston for at least the next two seasons. With a team that should have been playing in the World Series last month, a Big Three of Pedro, Schilling and Lowe (followed by Wakefield and Kim/Arroyo) would be a extremely beautiful thing. An official confirmation in the next two days will alleviate a lot of my Gump Hangover. ... 87 days until pitchers and catchers.

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