Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Friday, November 28, 2003
Updated: November 30, 2:01 PM ET
Schilling will waive no-trade clause

ESPN.com news services

BOSTON -- Curt Schilling teamed with Randy Johnson to win a World Series in Arizona. Now Schilling will join Pedro Martinez in trying to lead the Boston Red Sox to that elusive title.

"From one Hall of Famer to a potential Hall of Famer," Schilling said Monday of the swap.

The Diamondbacks right-hander accepted a trade to Boston after agreeing to a two-year contract extension with a one-year option, reports ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, an extension that could keep the ace with the Red Sox through the end of his career.

Schilling
Schilling

"I want to be a part of bringing the first World Series in modern history to Boston," Schilling said. "And hopefully more than one over the next four years."

Boston and Arizona worked out the deal on Monday, but the 37-year-old Schilling had to waive the no-trade clause in his current contract for it to go through. A deadline for negotiations between Schilling and the Red Sox was to expire at 5 p.m. Friday but it was extended for one day; they only needed a couple of hours.

ESPN.com's Peter Gammons reported Friday that Schilling will earn $12 million in 2004, and his extension will pay him $12.5 million in 2005 and $13 million in 2006. The deal also includes a $13 million option for '07, according to Gammons, that could become guaranteed if Schilling meets specified performance levels.

"Curt wasn't out for every last dollar. Very far from it. He wanted to structure his deal so the Red Sox would be competitive for every year of his contract," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "He deserves a lot of credit, because that's a rare request coming from a player."

Schilling spent 3 years in Arizona as Randy Johnson's co-ace, and the pair shared the 2001 World Series MVP award after leading the Diamondbacks to victory over the New York Yankees. Schilling, trying to win Boston's first Series title since 1918, probably will follow Martinez in what could be baseball's most formidable rotation, and that's fine with him.

"How many Cy Youngs has he got, three or four? At last count, that's three more than I've got. He is the No. 1 on that staff," Schilling said. "I didn't have a problem pitching behind Randy Johnson in Arizona, and I'm going to be equally comfortable pitching behind Pedro Martinez."

The Red Sox sent a message to the Yankees in particular and to all of baseball that they are willing to do whatever it takes to win a world championship. In acquiring Curt Schilling, it hammers home the Red Sox's approach to this baseball offseason.

Schilling gives the Red Sox a bonafide ace to compliment Pedro Martinez and a pitcher who can matchup with any other in all of baseball. Schilling is a horse that not only wants the baseball, but he also wants to finish what he starts. Curt is a refreshing throwback to pre-1990 baseball.

From Schilling's perspective, he now joins a team that wants nothing less than to win the World Series. There will be no rebuilding in Boston. This is a team with an open checkbook, and an ownership that wants to make a statement.

Schilling realizes that he has a chance to get into baseball folklore if he leads the Red Sox to a World Championship. I believe that Curt considered this heavily being the student of the game that he is. Yes, the money he will receive for the compensation of his services is astounding. But winning erases all talk of salaries, particulaly if the Red Sox do win that elusive championship.

Boston should be jumping with joy as the news of this trade hits the airwaves. Let's see how the Yankees react. This offseason is just starting, and it looks like it's going to be a fun one.

The Red Sox sent lefty Casey Fossum and righty Brandon Lyon to the Diamondbacks, along with minor-league pitcher Jorge De La Rosa and a minor leaguer to be named, reportedly outfielder Michael Goss.

Arizona is trying to cut its payroll from about $94 million to $80 million.

"I want a chance to win the World Series for the rest of my career. Who doesn't?" Schilling said earlier this week. "But I'm in a position to kind of control that."

Schilling had said he would only accept a trade to the Phillies or the New York Yankees, but Epstein persuaded him to come to Boston after meeting with him through the holiday and joining the Schillings for Thanksgiving dinner.

"If we didn't sign Curt, it probably would have been the worst Thanksgiving of my life," Epstein said. "We tried to refuse, and Curt said it was a deal-breaker, they would be insulted if we didn't go."

But the deal was still in doubt when Epstein left Schilling's house after the Thanksgiving dinner, Stark reports.

"When they left last night, I believed the deal was off, and I think Theo did, too," Schilling told Stark. "Their pitch was, 'This is as far as we're going to be able to go.' And when I looked at it, it was unacceptable, and I told them I'd gone as far as I could go, too. To me, at the time, it was clear from Theo's body language that this probably wasn't going to happen."

But then Epstein called Schilling back and told them the Red Sox brass was going to have a conference call and asked if he could call late. Schilling said yes. Epstein then called again at nearly midnight, Arizona time, and said they all wanted to sleep on it.

"When he called in the morning and requested a 24-hour extension to keep negotiating," Schilling said, "that's when I realized we both wanted the same thing -- to get this deal done and get me to the Boston Red Sox."

Before the Red Sox delegation arrived, of course, Schilling had said that it wouldn't be money that kept this deal from getting done. Then in the end, it almost was. That surprised both sides.

"I had a number in mind that I didn't think would be an issue," Schilling told Stark. "And it ended up being an issue. But I don't blame them. They were trying to get the best deal they could for the Boston Red Sox."

Originally, Schilling was skeptical of whether Boston was a place he should go, but he told Stark: "They talked me into it -- with what they said and how they acted. I see a lot of similarities between the Red Sox and Mr. Colangelo. They just have this deep-seated desire to hoist a World Series trophy in Boston."

Schilling also had a lot of initial concerns about issues other players might not be as interested in -- such as the level of detail in advance scouting reports and the amount of video and technological information that would be available. But Schilling told Stark that Epstein and his assistant, Jed Hoyer, were "very impressive."

"Obviously, they were thoroughly prepared, with a thorough understanding of what was important to me as a player," Schilling said. "They answered all of those issues right off the bat. And that made this a lot easier."

Schilling had also been concerned that Fenway Park was unfriendly to right-handed fly-ball pitchers.

"As far as the park goes," he said, "Pedro made it work, so I'm going to make it work."

But he was also encouraged by the possibility of playing again for Terry Francona, his manager in Philadelphia who is the front-runner for the Red Sox job; he is expected to be hired next week.

"I have made it known that he would be a reason I'd be interested in going to Boston," Schilling said Monday. "I only said that because it was my understanding that he was a slam-dunk for the job anyway. I love the guy. He's a great manager."

Boston already had one of the highest payrolls in baseball, but the chance to add Schilling was too tempting for a team that was one starter short for most of last year. It could also be insurance if the Red Sox fail to sign Martinez when his contract expires at the end of the 2004 season.

Either way, the deal is the biggest Epstein has pulled off since he took over as Red Sox general manager last winter.

The completion of the Schilling trade is expected to set off some dominos. With their payroll reduced, the Diamondbacks, could trade Jorge De La Rosa -- one of the prospects received from Boston -- to Milwaukee for slugger Richie Sexson, in a deal that will include other players, reports ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

The Red Sox and Arizona reportedly discussed a three-way trade with the Brewers when talks with Schilling began last week.

And the Yankees will answer shortly. Their priority continues to be re-signing Andy Pettitte, and they continue to talk to free agent Bartolo Colon; club executives talked earlier in the week about acquiring pitchers available in trades, such as Minnesota's Eric Milton, Olney reported.

Schilling returns to an organization that traded him to Baltimore as a prospect, along with Brady Anderson, for Mike Boddicker as the Red Sox geared up for the 1988 pennant race. Boston was swept by the Oakland Athletics, and Schilling developed into one of the game's top pitchers.

For his career, he is 163-117 with a 3.33 ERA and 2,542 strikeouts. He went 22-6 with 293 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA in 2001 as the Diamondbacks won the championship, then followed with a 23-7 record, 316 strikeouts and 3.23 ERA the next year.

He finished second both years to Johnson in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

"Curt Schilling can win a World Series in Boston. If it's in the stars, then so be it," Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo said. "Curt was brought here to help us win a World Series, and he did that. ... He got what he was seeking, and so did we ... a World Series ring."

But last season, Schilling made just 24 starts and missed six weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand. He went 8-9 with a 2.95 ERA and struck out 194 batters in 168 innings.

Fossum was 6-5 with a 5.47 ERA for Boston last season and pitched in eight games at Double-A and Triple-A.

Lyon was 4-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 49 relief appearances for Boston last year. He was traded to Pittsburgh in July but returned to the Red Sox the next week after doctors for both teams disagreed on the condition of his right elbow.

De La Rosa, a lefty, went 6-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 22 games, 20 of them starts, for Double-A Portland last year. At Triple-A Pawtucket, he was 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA in five outings, all starts.

Schilling said he would donate $500,000 to the Red Sox's preferred charity, the Jimmy Fund.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.