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Schilling accepts trade to Boston

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Ex-Diamondback Curt Schilling could finish his career in Boston.

Ex-Diamondback Curt Schilling could finish his career in Boston.

Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

BOSTON — Arizona right-hander Curt Schilling accepted a trade to Boston on Friday after agreeing to a contract extension that could keep him with the Red Sox through the end of his career.

The teams agreed to the deal Monday, but the 37-year-old Schilling had to waive the no-trade clause in his current contract for it to go through. A deadline for negotiations between Schilling and the Red Sox was to expire at 5 p.m. Friday, but it was extended for one day; they only needed a couple of hours.

A baseball source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that Schilling's extension guarantees him $25.5 million — $12.5 million in 2005 and $13 million in 2006. It also includes a $13 million option for '07 that could become guaranteed if Schilling meets specified performance levels, the source said.

The $12.75 million average annual value of the extension is seventh among pitchers. Schilling's new teammate, Pedro Martinez, is first with a $17.5 million salary in 2004, the option year of his current deal.

Schilling spent 3 1/2 years in Arizona as co-ace with Randy Johnson, and the pair shared the 2001 World Series MVP award after leading the Diamondbacks to victory over the New York Yankees. Now Schilling will try to lead Boston to a title alongside Martinez in what could be baseball's most formidable rotation. "From one Hall of Famer to a potential Hall of Famer," Schilling said Monday of the swap.

The Red Sox will send lefty Casey Fossum and righty Brandon Lyon to the Diamondbacks, along with minor-league pitcher Jorge De La Rosa and a minor leaguer to be named.

Arizona is trying to cut its payroll from about $94 million to $80 million; Schilling, who is his own agent, is scheduled to earn $12 million in 2004.

"I want a chance to win the World Series for the rest of my career. Who doesn't?" Schilling said earlier this week. "But I'm in a position to kind of control that."

Schilling had previously said he would only accept a trade to the Phillies or the New York Yankees.

Schilling had been concerned that Fenway Park was unfriendly to right-handed fly ball pitchers. But he was also encouraged by the possibility of playing again for Terry Francona, his manager in Philadelphia who is the front-runner for the Red Sox job; he is expected to be hired next week.

"I have made it known that he would be a reason I'd be interested in going to Boston," Schilling said Monday. "I love the guy."

The trade with Boston does not necessarily mean the end of Arizona's attempts to pry first baseman Richie Sexson away from Milwaukee. The Red Sox and Arizona reportedly discussed a three-way trade with the Brewers, and it is possible the Diamondbacks will trade some of Boston's prospects to Milwaukee.

Boston already had one of the highest payrolls in baseball, but the chance to add Schilling was too tempting for a team that was one starter short for most of last season. It could also be insurance if the Red Sox fail to sign Martinez when his contract expires at the end of the 2004 season.

Either way, the deal is the biggest Epstein has pulled off since he took over as Red Sox general manager last winter. And it gives Boston a potential rotation — Martinez, Schilling, Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield and Byung-Hyun Kim — that rivals any.

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

For his career, he is 163-117 with a 3.33 ERA and 2,542 strikeouts. He went 22-6 with 293 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA in 2001 as the Diamondbacks won the championship, then followed with a 23-7 record, 316 strikeouts and 3.23 ERA the next year.

He finished second both years to Johnson in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

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 6-5 with a 5.47 ERA for Boston last season and pitched in eight games at Double-A and Triple-A.

Lyon was 4-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 49 relief appearances for Boston last year. He was traded to Pittsburgh in July but returned to the Red Sox the next week after doctors for both teams disagreed on the condition of his right elbow.

De La Rosa, a lefty, went 6-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 22 games, 20 of them starts, for Double-A Portland last year. At Triple-A Pawtucket, he was 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA in five outings, all starts.