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.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.