BOSTON -- And then there was one.
The Red Sox came to terms with pitcher Alfredo Aceves on a one-year deal, thus avoiding arbitration. Aceves gets $1.2 million, less than the midpoint of the figures exchanged by the sides, according to a team source. Aceves had been seeking $1.6 million; the Red Sox had offered $950,000.
The team's only arbitration-eligible player still unsigned is designated hitter David Ortiz, who Saturday told ESPNdeportes that he was still hopeful of avoiding an arbitration hearing.
"I'm just working hard and working out to get ready for the spring. I really would like to get this over with so that we don't have to go in front of the judge and I can stop having to talk about this," Ortiz said.
Aceves' contract includes $100,000 in performance clauses based on starts or appearances, the source said. The language in the contract addressed both starts and appearances because it remains uncertain what role Aceves will fill for the Red Sox this season.
The plan on the eve of spring training is for Aceves to compete for a spot in the starting rotation, but it's well within the realm of possibility that Aceves could return to the bullpen if manager Bobby Valentine decides one of the other pitchers competing for a starting role -- someone like Vicente Padilla, Carlos Silva, Aaron Cook or Andrew Miller -- wins the job.
Aceves was 10-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 55 appearances for the Red Sox and ranked as one of Theo Epstein's best signings last winter. The Yankees, Aceves' previous employer, offered him only a minor league, nonguaranteed deal after he pitched little in 2010 because of back problems.
The Boston Globe first reported the Aceves agreement.
Gordon Edes covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.