Camp Notes: Red Sox in Ft. Myers
Checking in with the team that finished a game short of the World Series, as the Red Sox get camp rolling in Ft. Myer's:
- Health is always a concern for Boston, as last year's playoff run proved. Well, things aren't off to the best start: outfielder J.D. Drew is still complaining about his back, which isn't a good sign for his long-term durability this year.
- Closer Jonathan Papelbon says he turned down a two-year offer worth $15-16 million to sign his one-year deal for $6.25 million. He claims he's perfectly secure with pitching on a one-year contract, even with the torque his pitching exerts on his arm.
- Shortstop Julio Lugo says he's healthy and ready for Spring Training competition with Jed Lowrie, but it sounds like he won't want to stick around if he doesn't win the starting job. That could make things interesting, but it's unsure who would be interested in taking on his contract.
- Speaking of shortstops, Jed Lowrie played nearly all of 2008 with a slight tear in his left wrist, an injury which he claims has since healed. Will that allow him to hit with more power? If it does, Lugo's shot at winning that job could be in real jeopardy.
- ESPN has been spending a heck of a lot of time talking about John Smoltz's arrival in Boston's camp. According to reports, no matter how healthy he feels, Smoltz won't pitch until June as he recovers from an injury that kept his 2008 contributions to an absolute minimum.
- Outfielder Jason Bay would still love a contract extension in Boston, but admits that its not at the forefront of his Spring Training focus.
- Pitcher Josh Beckett is unequivocal about his desire to stay in Boston beyond the end of his current contract. The Red Sox have a $12 million option for his 2010 season, and it seems like a formality that they'll exercise it.
- Catcher Jason Varitek is talking about ending his career with the Red Sox, which begs the question: Will he stop playing after the 2010 season?
- And yes, Big Papi is already on the scene. No public shenanigans ... yet.
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