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In a bit of offseason bookkeeping, the Red Sox tendered contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players Monday night, signed one other to a one-year contract and failed to tender a contract to another.
Tendered contracts were: Alfredo Aceves; Mike Aviles; Daniel Bard; Jacoby Ellsbury; Jed Lowrie; Franklin Morales; and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The Sox reached agreement with pitcher Matt Albers on a one-year, $1.075 million deal with incentives, thus avoiding arbitration.
Finally, the Sox did not tender reliever Rich Hill, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June and isn't expected to be ready until midseason.
Maybe it's too strong to say that they've made a decision on Hill -- they can still re-sign him later.
The Albers contract is one we shouldn't be too fired up about one way or the other. It's a short-term, short-money deal on a guy who didn't show us much but wasn't a disaster either. He finished the year with a 4.73 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over 64 innings. Could you do better? Sure. But for 64 innings of low-leverage relief, a million bucks is reasonable.
People seemed excited about Albers coming in last year. His stuff and his peripheral numbers suggested he could improve on his traditional stats (and performance), but of course we didn't see it. Like almost any reliever, his problem was consistency: He had three great months (sub 2.00 ERA), one average month, and two lousy ones. A lot of that was sample size, of course (one or two bad outings can derail a month), and he did maintain the ability to strike out batters, tallying 68 on the year.
Hill is essentially a replacement-level pitcher at this point. The Sox seem interested in keeping him around once they take care of other business, but not so much as to guarantee money at this point.
Some potentially interesting names of players non-tendered by other teams: Ryan Theriot (if we end up trading Scutaro or Lowrie), Peter Moylan (low strikeout rate but formerly effective reliever for Atlanta, and Luke Scott (as a potential low-cost option in right, should Cherington not trust the young guys to hold it down).
Herald | Red Sox sign Matt Albers | Globe | Red Sox sign Albers; Hill only player non-tendered | Jenks has procedure at Mass General | Pedro Martinez to host Jimmy Fund events | CSNNE | Up next for Bard | ESPNBoston | Sox re-sign Albers, non-tender Hill