"I think it's a reflection that our structure for
'pre-arb' players is fair," said Sox general manager
Theo Epstein. "Ultimately, I think the players felt the
same way. So we tend to be generous within reason to
our players, try to reward them for service time and performance and get these things done. We've only had, what, one renewal [Kevin Youkilis] last year and none this year. So it's good. Players, I think, are happy. I think they understand that when their time comes -- when they're eligible for arbitration and beyond."
Of the group, closer Jonathan Papelbon is the most
high profile. He made $425,500 in 2007. Earlier this
week, Papelbon said he believed he should be among the best-compensated relievers in the game.
While the team did not disclose terms of any of the
contracts, The Associated Press reported that Papelbon signed a one-year contract for $755,000.
"I haven't talked to him since he agreed," Epstein
said. "I talked to his agents. He seems happy. I think
his sights might have been set a little higher, but
the more information he got, the more he probably
realized we were being really fair with him.
"He's going to be here a really long time. This isn't his
last contract. The relationship between him and the
club is a really strong one. I don't think something
like this was going to get in the way."
It's in the best interests of a club and a player,
Epstein said, to come to terms, rather than have
"It's always nice to reach an agreement rather than
having to unilaterally assign a salary," said Epstein, who believes the team's approach matters.
"You treat the player fairly, I think you do get it done more often than not," said Epstein. "This year may be a bit of an exception in some cases. It's a good problem to have: talented pre-arbitration players."
With the agreements, all 40 players on Boston's Major
League roster are under contract for the 2008 season.