Friday December 10, 2010 | 06:23 AM

Carl Crawford will average $20.3-million a year and, eventually, Adrian Gonzalez will be writing in about $22,000,000 on his W-2 form.

Why did the Red Sox finally open the checkbook wide?

There are various reasons, but one financially sound one is to look at the checks that Boston is no longer writing.

In 2010, Boston paid about $41-million to Mike Lowell ($12-million), Adrian Beltre (10), Julio Lugo (9, in one of Boston''s worst contracts), Victor Martinez (7), and Hideki Okajima ($2.75).

After 2011, Boston will have between about $36-million to $47-million off the books. Boston is not likely to re-sign J.D. Drew ($14-million this year), David Ortiz (12.5), Mike Cameron (7.25) and Tim Wakefield (2). Plus, Jonathan Papelbon, expected make about $11-million this year, will be a free agent after 2011 and the Red Sox may let him walk, with Daniel Bard in the wings.

Everyone is coming out with lineups. I'm getting suggestions emailed to me (thanks son).

Here's a thought

Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ortiz, Saltalamachhia/Varitek, Drew, Scutaro,

Not sold on it. Don't like Crawford-Gonzalez going lefty-lefty, but like Youkilis protecting Gonzalez.

If a tough lefty is on the mound, then insert Mike Cameron and Jed Lowrie for Drew and Ortiz (Lowrie could play first or third and let either Youkilis or Gonzalez take a half-day off as DH).

On the Rule-V draft, no one took a bit on Sea Dogs reliever Jason Rice. Boston did lose (at least temporarily) pitchers Daniel Turpen (to the Yankees) and Cesar Cabral (Rays).

Turpen, 24, a right-hander, was obtained from the Giants in the Ramon Ramirez trade. He had a 4.04 ERA for Double-A Richmond, then came to the Sea Dogs and did not shine in a small sample (4.91 in 12 games).

Cabral, 21, a left-hander, pitched well in low Class A Greenville last year (0.29 in 17 games) and not so well in advanced Class A Salem (5.81 in 28 games).

Both Turpen and Cabral have to stick on those teams' 25-man major league rosters or be sent back to Boston.



About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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