Random Notes. Orlando Cabrera's agent says the Red Sox have not returned his phone calls. ... Gabe Kapler signed a one-year deal with Japan's Yomiuri Giants.
The Red Sox have increased their offer to Jason Varitek to four years. In his 2005 handbook (cited below), Bill James predicts that Varitek's batting average will drop 30 points, he'll hit fewer home runs, drive in fewer runs, and play in fewer games. I wonder how that will affect negotiations. ...Doug Mirabelli is close to signing a $1.5 million contract for next year. Other catchers are quickly leaving the market: Damian Miller (who had received an offer from Boston) signed with the Brewers, Mike Redmond is in Minnesota, the Angels exercised Bengie Molina's option and the A's got Jason Kendall from the Pirates.
BDD: "A Boston Dirt Dogs source indicates that free-agent pitcher Carl Pavano 'is definitely signing with Philadelphia.' The only issue apparently holding it up was that Carl's mom is a big Yankees fan. The source indicates that 'Boston wasn't even in the mix at all.'" ... Renovations are underway at Fenway. ... The Red Sox 2005 schedule is here. ... Last Thursday, Michael Silverman reported that a Johnson-to-Yankees deal broke down after the Yankees balked at dealing several prospects and Javier Vazquez to the Diamondbacks. (Who knew the Yankees had "several" prospects?)
Gordon Edes thumbs through the "2005 Bill James Handbook": The Red Sox had three players in the top 10 in pitches per plate appearance: Bellhorn (4th, 4.15), Damon (5th, 4.12), and Varitek (7th, 4.09). ... Foulke allowed the AL's second-lowest average (.185) to LH hitters, while Arroyo allowed a staff-low (and 4th in the league) .227 average against RH hitters. ... Schilling threw a higher percentage of strikes (61.9%) than any other AL pitcher. ... Pedro was 4th in most pitches per start (105.7). ... Ortiz had a .411 OBP against RHP (4th in AL). He also led the AL with 127 Runs Created.