Sox still in talks, but preparing for arbitration hearings


Sox still in talks, but preparing for arbitration hearings

BOSTON -- Salary arbitration hearings are set to begin Tuesday in Florida and run for the next three weeks. The Red Sox have two unsigned players -- David Ortiz and Alfredo Aceves -- threatening to end their 10-year streak of avoiding arbitration hearings.

General manager Ben Cherington wouldn't reveal when the players' hearing are scheduled.

"I'd prefer not to make them public," said Cherington, "but we're preparing for them."

Ortiz filed a request for 16.5 million, with the Red Sox filing at 12.65 million. Aceves, meanwhile, filed at 1.6 million, with the Red Sox countering at 950,000.

"I wouldn't want to handicap (the odds of avoiding a hearing)," said Cherington. "We're just going to prepare for the cases. We'll continue to talk right up to the hearing. We'll see what happens. But as soon as you exchange (figures), you have to be prepared to go to a hearing. That's what we're doing."

The Sox and Ortiz are almost 4 million apart -- arbitrators must pick one number or the other, with no middle ground -- but Cherington said the should the Sox go to a hearing and lose, it wouldn't necessarily affecttheir budget.

"I don't think significantly, no," he said. "If you go to a hearing, there's a chance you win and a chance you lose and it changes your payroll to some degree. To that extend, it can affect things a little bit, but Iwouldn't say it's significant."

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame


Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.