Friday, February 23, 2007

Shilling to File for Free-Agency after 2007 Season

Fort Myers, FL (Sports Network) - Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has said he will file for free agency once the 2007 season ends, as the club told him they will not offer a contract extension during spring training.
Schilling told WEEI-AM in Boston that he met with Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein on Wednesday and was informed that the club would wait until after the season to decide if a new contract for the 40-year-old right-hander would be offered.
"We talked yesterday and they have decided they're going to go more from a business standpoint," Schilling told WEEI. "They're not going to offer me a contract until after the season. I'm going to play out the season and file for free agency at the end of the year."
If a deal is not reached, Schilling would become a free agent for the first time in his career.
"Theo was up front and honest. It was a very quick meeting," Schilling told the radio station. "Obviously, you're disappointed. This is a business."
Schilling was 15-7 with a 3.97 earned run average in 31 starts last season.
Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino also spoke with WEEI and said that the decision does not mean the club will not try to re-sign Schilling for next season.
"The request [for a contract extension] from Curt came as a bit of a surprise," Lucchino told the radio station. "Out of respect for him, we met and discussed it, considered it and thought at this age and stage it was probably more appropriate to make that contract decision at the end of the season rather than at the start of the season."
The 2007 campaign will be Schilling's fourth season with the Red Sox. He was brilliant in his first year, leading Boston to the World Series title in 2004. He was 21-6 with a 3.26 ERA that season and his postseason performance included the infamous "Bloody Sock" outing in Game 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees.
After the 2004 World Series sweep of St. Louis gave the Red Sox their first title since 1918, Schilling underwent surgery for his right ankle in November and had trouble recovering from the procedure in 2005. He was just 8-8 with a 5.69 ERA that season, spending time as a starter and closer.
Schilling has also pitched for Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia and Arizona in his 19-year career and owns a record of 207-138 with a 3.44 ERA. He also won a World Series title with the Diamondbacks in 2001, sharing MVP honors with fellow pitcher Randy Johnson in the seven-game victory over the New York Yankees.

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