Friday, January 9, 2009

Baldelli defects for Red Sox

By JC De La Torre

Rocco Baldelli grew up near Boston as a Red Sox fan, he dreamed of being with the Red Sox his entire life. That, in addition to a few million other reasons, caused Baldelli to spurn the franchise that stood by him while he dealt with a mysterious illness that robbed him from being able to play a full season of baseball for their most hated rival.

"I'm definitely excited. I think this is a great move for my baseball career," Baldelli said at a Boston presser, "Boston pursued me pretty aggressively, and I appreciated that. In addition to the baseball side of it, they were equally interested in helping me out any way they could medically. I think there were a lot of reasons that this was a very good fit for me. Theo and the Sox, they pursued me not only as a player but also to understand me as a person and to help me out any way they could on the field and off the field."

Baldelli's one year contract is an incentive based with a floor of $500,000 but with escalators based on plate appearances that could go as high as $5.25 million. After signing Pat Burrell to take over the DH roll for big money, the Rays just didn't have the resources to compete with the Sox for Baldelli's services. Baldelli batted .263 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 28 games for the Rays in 2008 regular season while adding 2 home runs and 6 rbi during the playoffs. He's a lifetime .281 hitter with 52 dingers and 234 RBI.

While we're disappointed Tampa Bay couldn't keep Rocco in the fold and we were even more disappointed he went to the hated Red Sox, we wish Rocco the best with his health and success in Beantown.

1 comment:

randizzle said...

We traded Coco... aren't we good now?