Ortiz and Wheeler
have until Dec. 7 to accept or decline arbitration. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, clubs retain the right to negotiate and/or enter into a contract agreement with any of their free agents, regardless of whether arbitration was offered. There are no deadlines for such negotiations or agreements.The Red Sox would receive two draft picks as compensation if Ortiz (Type-A FA) accepts a deal elsewhere, which might scare some teams off. Ortiz:
If the Red Sox sign me they won't regret it. I've got so many ways to keep doing what I've been doing around here. I bring so much to this organization, I bring so much to the table here because I care so much about this organization.Boston will receive two picks (probably a first-round pick and a sandwich pick) because Jonathan Papelbon signed with Philadelphia.
If Ortiz accepts arbitration, he could be awarded a raise over his $12.5 million salary in 2011 - though we'll see if GM Ben Cherington avoids arbitration hearings as much as his predecessor did. Wheeler was paid $3 million last year and the team has already declined a $3 million option for 2012. If Wheeler signs elsewhere, the Red Sox would receive a compensatory draft pick. In the case of the players not offered arbitration, they can still negotiate and sign a deal with the Red Sox, as Varitek did last winter, for example.