Sox offer arbitration to Ortiz, Wheeler

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Sox offer arbitration to Ortiz, Wheeler

The Red Sox announced late Wednesday they have offered salary arbitration to David Ortiz, Dan Wheeler and Jonathan Papelbon, meaning they will officially receive draft-pick compensation for Papelbon and will also receive compensation if Ortiz andor Wheeler signs elsewhere as a free agent.

They also announced they have declined arbitration on Erik Bedard, Trever Miller, Tim Wakefield, J.D. Drew, Conor Jackson and Jason Varitek, so they will receive no compensation if any of those players leaves via free agency. Drew is expected to retire, and the move to decline arbitration is procedural.

Ortiz and Wheeler have until Dec. 7 to accept or decline the offer. If they accept, they are automatically under contract to Boston for the 2012 season. Papelbon, who's already signed as a free agent with the Phillies, was offered arbitration to ensure the team will receive compensation for him.

Papelbon and Ortiz are Type A free agents. Wheeler is a Type B. Compensation for a Type A free agent is the first- or second-round pick of the team that signed the player, plus a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. Compensation for a Type B free agent is a sandwich pick.

Ortiz hit .309 with 29 home runs and 96 RBI in 146 games with Boston last season. He finished fourth in the American League in slugging percentage (.554), on-base percentage (.398) and OPS (.953). Wheeler went 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA over 47 relief appearances in his first season with the club.

Even though arbitration wasn't offered to long-tenured players like Wakefield and Varitek, it doesn't mean that the Sox can't still negotiate a contract with either or any of the players, and there is no deadline to do so.

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

Boston pitchers strike out 14, but Red Sox still fall to Rays, 7-3

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.