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.