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04/19/2005 1:32 PM ET
Red Sox, Tim Wakefield agree to contract extension
Longest-tenured Red Sox signs through 2006 with club options
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BOSTON, MA -- The Boston Red Sox have agreed to a contract extension with right-handed pitcher Tim Wakefield, the active player with the longest continuous service in a Red Sox uniform. The deal is for the 2006 season and includes club options thereafter. The Red Sox will have the option to extend the contract for 2007 and any season thereafter. The contract will remain in effect as long as the club continues to exercise its yearly option. Senior Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein made the announcement. Terms were not disclosed.

Off to a 2-0 start with a 1.37 ERA in three starts this season, the 38-year-old knuckleballer signed with the Red Sox as a minor league free agent on April 26, 1995. Beginning his 11th season in Boston, Wakefield has climbed among the all-time Red Sox leaders in most pitching categories, including appearances (second with 390); innings pitched (third with 1866.0); starts (third with 253); strikeouts (third with 1,343); and wins (seventh with 116).

As a Red Sox, Wakefield is 116-99 with 22 saves and a 4.28 ERA in 390 games (253 starts). The native of Melbourne, FL made his major league debut with the Pirates in 1992 and 1993 and is 130-111 with 22 saves and a 4.27 ERA in 427 big league outings (286 starts) overall.

Wakefield has also distinguished himself off the field since coming to Boston, earning a reputation as one of the most community-minded players in all of Major League Baseball. A six-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, presented annually to the major leaguer who best combines baseball skills with devoted work in the community, Wakefield has dedicated much of his effort toward the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston and the Space Coast Early Intervention Center in his hometown of Melbourne, FL, while also being a consistent supporter of the Jimmy Fund and countless other charitable organizations.

In agreeing to the new deal, Wakefield announced he will donate $100 to charity for every strikeout he records in 2005, with $50 going to the Franciscan Childrens Hospital and $50 to the Jimmy Fund.

"For the last 11 years, Tim Wakefield has represented the best of the Boston Red Sox," Epstein said. "His continuing contributions to the success of the franchise on the field are matched only by his dedication to community service. This agreement virtually guarantees Wake will retire as a Boston Red Sox, which is fitting. In the long, proud history of this franchise, few men have brought greater honor to the uniform."

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