FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Having put Alfredo Aceves on notice following his insubordination on the mound Sunday, the Red Sox may have another option regarding the mercurial pitcher.
Aceves is due to be paid 2.65 million this year, his third with the Red Sox. But because that salary was agreed upon in a settlement before going to arbitration, the deal is not guaranteed.
The Red Sox could release Aceves by March 13 and owe him just one-sixth of his salary, or about 440,000 -- less than the major league minimum salary (490,000) for 2013.
If they wait until March 27, they could release him and owe him one-fourth of his salary, or about 660,000.
Of course, if the Sox are determined to cut ties with Aceves, they could always trade him. But the 2.65 million salary might be off-putting to some teams, especially considering that the pitcher's reputation is well-known throughout the game.
Though Aceves has some value, it's likely that other clubs would low-ball the Sox in trade talks, citing salary and his troubled history. Rather than accepting a low-level prospect, the Sox could elect to simply release Aceves.
That could also serve another purpose: By giving Aceves his outright release, the Sox would be making a statement about their intentions. A release would prove, in no uncertain terms, that the Red Sox aren't going to put up with selfish behavior on the part of players and that new manager John Farrell is serious about maintaining a team-first attitude in the clubhouse.