Monday, November 24, 2003

Imagine Pedro Followed by Schill. . . .

ESPN reported today that the Red Sox, Brewers, and Diamondbacks are in discussions regarding a three-way deal that would send Curt Schilling to Boston. This, of course, is bad news for the Phillies. The Inquirer's Jim Salisbury wrote yesterday that Schilling has said he wouldn't pitch for the Sox, but quickly added that "he is one to change his mind, so it wouldn't be surprising if the Red Sox made a call to Arizona if (when) Terry Francona is named manager. Francona and Schilling are close."

If the Boston talks falter and the Phils are still without a pitcher after Thanksgiving, Salisbury noted, keep an eye on December 7:

That's the date the Phils would have to offer Millwood salary arbitration. If the Phils offer Millwood arbitration, they will have to be ready to pay him possibly as much as $12 million or more if he accepts. If the Phils offer Millwood arbitration, that would close the door on Schilling, at least until Millwood rejects arbitration, and there's no guarantee that will happen. Last year, [Greg] Maddux, who like Millwood is represented by Scott Boras, accepted the Braves' offer of arbitration and signed a one-year contract.

I remain underwhelmed by the prospect of Millwood as a No. 1 guy, earning No. 1 scratch. Should Schilling still be available as December 7 draws closer, the D'backs, ever more desperate, "may have no choice but to take the Phillies' offer of second-tier players and prospects," wrote Salisbury. I'd support the acquisition of either Colon or Vazquez, but fear the price would be too high, so I still see Schilling as the best option.

But how eager do you think No. 38 would be to take a stab at halting the Red Sox' World Series futility? He may claim to want only Philadelphia, but Curt Schilling takes seriously such things as baseball history and tradition, and you can bet his considerable ego would relish the thought of being Boston's savior.


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