Left-handed reliever Andrew Miller, who was enjoying the best season of his career until it was cut short by a freak foot injury, is the only arbitration-eligible player yet to have signed a contract with the Red Sox, the club having offered him a nominal raise over last season.
The Sox announced agreement with three players Friday night: first baseman Mike Carp, reliever Junichi Tazawa, and Jonathan Herrera, the infielder acquired last month from the Colorado Rockies in a trade for pitcher Franklin Morales. According to a baseball source, Carp signed for $1.4 million, Herrera for $1.3 million and Tazawa $1.275 million. Earlier this week, the Sox came to terms with reliever Burke Badenhop, who was obtained from Milwaukee in November for minor league pitcher Luis Ortega, on a $2.15 million deal.
Miller was averaging a career-best 14.1 strikeouts per nine innings with an ERA of 2.64 in 37 appearances when he suffered a torn ligament in his left foot while backing up home plate in a game against the Angels on July 6. Nine days later, he underwent Lisfranc surgery on the foot, and missed the rest of the season. Miller, 28, was paid $1.475 million in 2013, and he is a third-year arbitration eligible, meaning he is eligible for free agency after this season. The Red Sox submitted a figure of $1.55 million, just $80,000 more than what he was paid last season, while Miller is asking for $2.15 million.
Tazawa, for example, a first-year arbitration-eligible player, received a $460,000 raise from his $815,000 salary in 2013. Why the proposed small bump for Miller? Perhaps the Sox have some health concerns, although Miller is 100 percent healthy, according to one industry source.
A hearing will be scheduled for early February. If the sides cannot come to an agreement before then, an arbitrator will decide between the figures submitted. The midpoint between the figures is $1.85 million.