Pitcher must waive no-trade clause

Updated: November 25, 2003, 10:26 PM ET
Associated Press

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- Curt Schilling is headed to the Boston Red Sox -- if he waives his no-trade clause with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The five-time All-Star announced the tentative trade Monday to reporters outside his house as his children and dogs played in the yard. During the impromptu news conference, teammate Randy Johnson drove by in a pickup truck and yelled to reporters playfully, "You're blocking the street!"

Schilling is scheduled to make $12 million next season with the chance to earn almost $2 million more in performance bonuses, but he wants an extension before agreeing to a trade.

"I won't leave here without an extension," Schilling said. "I'm reading that I'm demanding three years. I've never demanded anything from anybody, but I will get a contract extension before I leave Arizona."

Schilling said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein and president Larry Lucchino were coming to Phoenix to meet with him. The Red Sox asked the commissioner's office for permission to discuss a contract extension with Schilling, the 37-year-old right-hander said, a window that expires at 5 p.m. Friday.

"I am going to meet with (Boston) on Wednesday," Schilling said. "Money is not going to be the key factor. I already have more money then I am ever going to spend. It will have to be right for me, my wife and family. The Red Sox have some positives, the Yankees have some positives, but we will see after I talk to them."

Officials with both teams refused to talk of the deal.

"We won't have any comment until we have an official transaction to announce," Epstein told reporters in Boston earlier. On Monday night, Epstein attended the Boston Celtics' game against the New York Knicks with free agent closer Keith Foulke.

Arizona GM Joe Garagiola Jr. also declined to comment on the trade, but he did say Monday night, "Curt is remarkable in the way he is able to handle this objectively. That's part of what makes him a great competitor." The Diamondbacks have said they can't afford to give Schilling a new deal that runs after 2004.

But the potential deal has at least one Red Sox player salivating.

Current ace Pedro Martinez wants to add Schilling to the rotation, saying it would instantly make Boston a favorite to end the New York Yankees' streak of six AL East titles.

"With Schilling, Derek Lowe and me in the rotation, it would be tough on our rivals," Martinez told The Associated Press in the Dominican Republic.

Boston would give up left-hander Casey Fossum, several baseball officials said on the condition of anonymity. Reliever Brandon Lyon, minor league pitcher Jorge De La Rosa and outfielder Michael Goss also would be moving to Arizona, according to several reports.

Despite earlier reports on a potential three-team trade between the Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, a deal to send Schilling to Boston will instead be handled between just Arizona and the Red Sox.

A potential three-way deal was initially discussed, a deal that would have sent Fossum and prospects to the Brewers, while first baseman Richie Sexson would have left Milwaukee for Arizona, with Schilling going to Boston.

If the deal with Boston goes through they could trade some of those players to the Brewers.

Schilling said he would not agree to any trades after the start of spring training. He did not indicate whether he was likely to accept this deal, but said he would only consider a trade to three teams, listing his preferences in order as the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Boston.

"There's bait to all three of them, and challenges to all three of them," he said. "I'd say the chances are highly unlikely that I will be here (in Arizona). But who knows?"

Schilling said the Red Sox would make things more tempting if they hire his former manager in Philadelphia, Terry Francona, to replace Grady Little. Francona is one of four people to have interviewed for the Red Sox job; the Red Sox interviewed Texas coach DeMarlo Hale on Monday and hope to have a decision by the winter meetings Dec. 12.

The trade with Boston would send Schilling back to an organization that traded him away as a prospect, along with Brady Anderson, for Mike Boddicker as the Red Sox geared up for the 1988 pennant race. The Red Sox were swept by the Oakland Athletics, and Schilling developed into one of the game's top pitchers.

He has a 163-117 career record with a 3.33 ERA and 2,542 strikeouts. He went 22-6 with 293 strikeouts in and a 2.98 ERA in 2001 as the Diamondbacks won the World Series, then followed that up with a 23-7 record and 316 strikeouts and 3.23 ERA the next year.

Both years, he finished second to Johnson in the NL Cy Young Award voting. The two were co-MVPs of the 2001 Series.

But last season, Schilling made just 24 starts and missed six weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand. He went 8-9 with a 2.95 ERA and struck out 194 batters in 168 innings.

Fossum was the subject of trade talks for most of last winter, with Boston deciding not to package him with third baseman Shea Hillenbrand in a deal for Montreal's Bartolo Colon. Hillenbrand was traded to Arizona during the season for pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim, who went in and out of the closer's role and could be back as a starter in '04.

Fossum was 6-5 with a 5.47 ERA for Boston in '03 and also pitched in eight games at Double- and Triple-A.

Schilling hasn't had much success at Fenway Park. He was 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA there with the Orioles and Phillies before beating Boston in his only appearance for the Diamondbacks, in June 2002.

"I am not that worried about pitching there, other righthanders have done it," Schilling said.

He also took the loss when he started for the NL in the 1999 All-Star game, facing Pedro Martinez.

Also Monday, the Diamondbacks agreed to a minor league contract with left-hander Jesse Orosco and invited him to spring training. Orosco, at 46 the oldest player in the major leagues, was 2-2 with 2 saves and a 7.68 ERA in 65 games last season for San Diego, the Yankees and Minnesota. He would get an $800,000, one-year contract if he's added to the major league roster.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press