The Sox did some housekeeping today: they declined Gonzalez's ($6 million) and Varitek ($5 million)'s options, picked up Martinez's $7.7 million option, and changed Wakefield's perpetual club option into a two-year, $4 million deal. The business with catchers isn't surprising, but I'm a little baffled by the Gonzo choice. Presumably Boston is hedging its bets, slipping in the possibility of picking up a draft pick if Gonzalez declines to prolong his tenure and ends up somewhere else, but are things really that sure at shortstop next year that they can afford to make this bet? It's not like the shortstop free agent market is aces this off season and Jed Lowrie...well, we all know he's nothing like a sure thing, either. I guess we'll see what the Sox have planned.
As for Wakefield: does the new deal mean that Wake has a retirement date in mind? The perpetual option was fun because, quite frankly, it allowed us (or me, anyway) to live out a fantasy where Wakefield entered some sort of relativistic universe where age meant nothing and he could keep pitching forever, but clearly the injuries of this past season dealt that particular hope a crushing blow. If Wake's feeling his age enough to sign a time-limited deal - or the Sox are worried enough about his health to send him down that road - the true end can't be that far behind.