Red Sox offer Ortiz, Wheeler salary arbitration; decline arbitration to six

BOSTON, Mass — The Boston Red Sox today announced that the club has offered salary arbitration to free agent designated hitter David Ortiz and right-handed pitcher Dan Wheeler. The club also announced it will not offer salary arbitration to left-handed pitchers Erik Bedard and Trever Miller, right-handed pitcher Tim Wakefield, outfielders J.D. Drew and Conor Jackson and catcher Jason Varitek.

The announcements were made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.    

As a result of today’s action, the Red Sox would be eligible to receive compensation for Ortiz, a type A free agent, and Wheeler, a type B free agent. Players offered salary arbitration have until December 7 to accept or decline that offer.

Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, clubs retain the right to negotiate and/or enter into a contract agreement with any of their free agents, regardless of whether arbitration was offered. There are no deadlines for such negotiations and/or agreements.

Jonathan Papelbon, who signed with Philadelphia earlier this month, was also a type A free agent and will yield compensation. 

Ortiz hit .309 with 29 home runs and 96 RBI in 146 games with Boston last season.  He finished fourth in the American League in slugging percentage (.554), on-base percentage (.398) and OPS (.953).  Wheeler went 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA over 47 relief appearances in his first season with the club.  

Bedard combined to go 5-9 with a 3.62 ERA in 24 starts between the Red Sox and Mariners in 2011.  Miller posted a 3.80 ERA while going 0-1 with one save in 48 appearances out of the bullpen with St. Louis, Toronto and Boston.  In his 17th Major League campaign with the Red Sox, Wakefield went 7-8 with a 5.12 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 33 games (23 starts).  Drew played in 81 contests and hit .222 with four home runs and 22 RBI.  Jackson compiled a .244 batting average with five homers and 43 RBI with the Athletics and Red Sox.  Varitek batted .221 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI over 68 games in 2011, his 15th season with the Red Sox.