It you are one of the contract-year believers you can add Curt Schilling to your contract-year watch list. Schilling informed WEEI in Boston that in a brief meeting with the Red Sox GM Theo Epstein that the team would not sign their 2004 World Series hero to a contract extension during spring training.
After consulting with his family this offseason Schilling rescinded his announcement that 2007 would be his last season in the majors. In an announcement of the same Boston sports station on January 29th, Schilling said that he would not only pitch in 2008 but he would consider pitching beyond that season if his skills allowed him. In that interview he said he hoped he would be pitching with the Red Sox and would not consider pitching with the Yankees if a deal with Boston couldn't be worked out. After his meeting this week with the GM Schilling seemed upbeat and said he would prepare for 2007 normally and filed for free agency after the season.
Schilling is the type of player who will approach the upcoming year with a chip on his shoulder, determined to prove something. He's also the type of player that usually flourishes with incentive and motivation.
When evaluating Curt for the 2007 season you should pay more attention to his first half line of 10-3, 3.61, .255 than his overall line of 15-7, 3.97 .276. When the Red Sox season came unraveled right after the break it sapped the motivation of even the most battle-hardened in the clubhouse. Pay close attention to Curt's home split of 9-1, 3.06, .264 as well. It shows what he's still capable of when motivated.
We currently project Curt for 14 wins with a still-better-than-average 4.32 ERA but I'm thinking that's the worst-case end of the ERA possibilities. He should continue to be a very good AL starter into 2007 and would slot well at #2 in an AL-only league and #3 in a mixed league. His age and the Red Sox public vote of no confidence should drive him into a good buy-low position on Draft Day.