Garrett Whitlock didn’t like the irony, and when he felt it, he refused to reveal it. This, he said, was just a coincidence.
But it must have been quite a pleasant one.
Whitlock, the Red Sox right-hander who came on the scene with a 1.96 ERA last year, sat behind a podium in the media room at Yankee Stadium Sunday afternoon, with Boston manager Alex Cora to his right, president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom to his left and a multitude of teammates seated towards the back of the room. They were there because he had just signed a four-year extension for a guaranteed $18.75 million, with club options in 2027 and 2028, and escalators that could take the six-season total to $44.5 million.
The irony was that Whitlock could so easily have pitched for the team that lives down the hall. The Yankees drafted Whitlock in 2017 and left him unprotected in the 2020 draft under Rule 5 after Tommy John’s surgery in 2019. Enter Boston.
“It’s a great day,” Bloom said.
No one’s going to say the Yankees desperately need another bullpen arm, but it would be nice if Whitlock, who has established himself as a popular member of the Red Sox organization over the past year, has a 1.96 ERA over 73¹/₃ innings would be recorded in 2021. The Red Sox also don’t see the bullpen as the upper limit for the 25-year-old.
Bloom said they had started discussing an extension ahead of the lockout, with talks intensifying over the past month before culminating in an agreement on Friday. Later that day, Whitlock recorded a botched save and gave up a run in the eighth inning in a game the Yankees later won 6-5.
In this chapter of the rivalry, however, it looks like Boston will have the last laugh.
“You all know the talent that Garrett showed from Day 1 at Fort Myers last year through October,” Bloom said. “I think a lot of you also know the person he is – and when you make that kind of commitment, that’s just as important. he works hard He competes. He’s a really good teammate. He is humble. he wants to learn He respects everyone.”
Whitlock recalled two years ago when he worked two jobs to make ends meet during the pandemic. Cora brought up Boston’s crew plane rides, where Whitlock is known to bring beers for teammates.
“For me, I just want a servant’s heart,” said Whitlock, who is from Birmingham, Alabama. “That’s the biggest thing. I grew up and my father, my mother, instilled in me that it’s all about other people. For me, I want to serve people as best I can.”
So you can see why the teammates in the back of the room saw fit to applaud after the press conference ended.
And why the Yankees, whether they need another arm or not, will feel like they’ve missed out.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/10/red-sox-ink-ex-yankee-garrett-whitlock-to-four-year-extension/ Red Sox extend ex-Yankee Garrett Whitlock by four years