April 19, 2005

Wakefield Signs Extension

Tim Wakefield signed an extension for 2006 today that contains club options for 2007 and beyond. According to the Globe, "the contract will remain in effect as long as the Red Sox continue to exercise their yearly option."

An annual, open-ended club option? In a way, it reminds me of contracts under the reserve clause, but there are huge differences here. First, Wakefield was a part of the negotiations and agreed to the arrangement. Second, he's not shackled to an unfair contract in the prime of his career. Third, he clearly wants to pitch for the Red Sox as long as he remains in major league baseball. It's also not a huge amount of money from the club's standpoint.

Wakefield will earn $4 million next season (performance bonuses could boost that to $5.25 million). Theo Epstein said the deal "virtually guarantees Wake will retire as a Boston Red Sox, which is fitting. In the long, proud history of this franchise, few men have brought greater honor to the uniform."

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