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10/31/2008 2:38 PM ET
Red Sox exercise 2009 contract option on RHP Tim Wakefield; catchers David Ross and Jason Varitek and infielder Alex Cora elect free agency
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BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox today exercised the 2009 contract option on right-handed pitcher Tim Wakefield.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.

Wakefield posted a 10-11 record and a 4.13 earned run average in 30 starts this season. He ranked second on the staff and third in the American League with a .228 opponents batting average against. The right-hander finished second on the club in starts and innings (181.0) and fourth in strikeouts (117).

Wakefield is second in club history with 1,797 career strikeouts, 367 starts and 504 appearances and third with 164 wins and 2,581.2 innings. He is the only Red Sox pitcher ever with at least 500 games and 350 starts in his career and the 23rd hurler in Major League history to reach those milestones with the same team. The 42-year-old competed in his 14th season with Boston in 2008, the longest continuous stint as a pitcher in club history.

The Red Sox also announced that catchers David Ross and Jason Varitek and infielder Alex Cora have elected free agency.

NOTES: Several members of the Red Sox organization are playing for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League...RHP Clay Buchholz is 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts...He is tied for second in the league with 17.1 innings pitched...C Mark Wagner is batting .276 with one home run and three RBI in nine games...In the Hawaiian Winter League, OF Ryan Kalish is batting .286 with one home run and seven RBI in 16 games for North Shore, including a .351 mark over his last 11 contests...He is tied for the league lead with 10 stolen bases and ranks second with a .351 on-base percentage...LHP Dustin Richardson has fanned at least one batter in each of his eight relief appearances and is 0-1 with 3.09 ERA.

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