Sunday, November 30, 2008
The Sox will offer arbitration to Tek. The conventional thinking is that Tek will not accept arbitration as he is seeking a multi-year contract, but the real question is: can he find that deal. Not many clubs have $20 million to spend and want to forfeit a draft pick on a 36 year-old catcher coming off his worse season at the plate. Without that possibility, Tek could earn more through the arbitration process as they could consider past performance more than the market. Accepting the Sox offer arbitration could be the best for Tek’s wallet.
The same can be said about Paul Byrd’s situation. Currently, the Sox need a fifth and reliable (a.k.a. 30 GS) starter like the vacancy at catcher. Byrd is a 37 year-old pitcher coming off a so-so season. He may be able to squeeze a two-year deal from a club, as clubs can never have enough pitchers. But in this economic climate, it may not be worth more than the virtually risk free one-year $7 million deal he will likely get from the Sox.
From the Sox perspective, nearly any one-year contract is worth the risk when the reward is draft pick compensation. The economic value of a top selection in June outweighs the poor performing one-year contract for the Sox. Since the Olde Towne Team has opening at both positions - catcher and fifth starter, it should be no brainer to offer arbitration to both Tek and Byrd.