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Good luck with that: David Ortiz wants a two-year contract extension from the Red Sox

Jul 12, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

David Ortiz Getty Images

During the All-Star game media session impending free agent David Ortiz told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald that he wants the Red Sox to give him a two-year contract extension with an third-year option.

Silverman kindly writes that Ortiz “is a couple of years beyond the age when the Red Sox normally get extremely gun-shy about committing to players for the long term.”

I’ll put it in much simpler terms: Not happening.

Ortiz is having a fantastic season, hitting .304 with 19 homers in 87 games for a .965 OPS that ranks fourth among AL hitters, but he’s also a 36-year-old designated hitter and as we’ve seen in recent years with Jim Thome, Jason Giambi, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero, Frank Thomas, Johnny Damon, and others those guys have a hard enough time securing one-year contracts, let alone multi-year commitments.

Ortiz has made it very clear that he’d like to remain in Boston beyond this season and if he stays healhty and productive in the second half the Red Sox would probably be willing to give him the same $12.5 million salary for 2012, but as Silverman points out the front office already balked at Ortiz’s proposed multi-year extension during the offseason and a strong first half seems unlikely to alter their stance significantly.

Perhaps one of the other 13 AL teams might be willing to make a big offer to Ortiz as a free agent, but he might also find that a one-year, $12.5 million deal looks pretty good for a 36-year-old DH on the open market. Thome, for instance, hit .283 with 25 homers and a 1.039 OPS in 108 games for the Twins last season and ended up re-signing for just $3 million after shopping around. Guerrero hit .300 with 29 homers and an .841 OPS in 152 games for the Rangers and eventually accepted a one-year, $8 million deal from the Orioles.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    What Ortiz really needs is an EDIT FUNCTION!

    • Ari Collins - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      I don’t think you can edit comments in WordPress. If that’s the case, HBT would need a complete overhaul and platform change to accomodate that function.

    • mornelithe - Jul 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      Maybe if you said it on a few more threads, WordPress will suddenly have an edit option.

      • Old Gator - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM

        I don’t want an edit option. I want an edit function. Give me the function and the option will follow, the way turbulence follows serving hot coffee on an airplane.

      • mornelithe - Jul 13, 2011 at 12:26 AM

        @ Old Gator: Semantics, you’ve asked numerous times through numerous threads, and been answered numerous times. WordPress doesn’t offer an edit . The funny part is, expecting a site that merely utilizes the platform, to somehow have the ability to alter, said platform.

        I’ll make a minor suggestion, try sending your requests to people who actually have influence over the functionality of the platform.

      • Ocarina of Bacon - Jul 13, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        @Mornelithe, there are WordPress plugins in existence that enable comment editing by commenters, typically for a pre-defined period of time before the comment automatically locks. Here’s an example.

        Now, there may be something specific to HardballTalk that prevents this plugin from being successfully applied, but don’t act as if WordPress and editable comments are somehow incompatible… that’s quite simply not true.

  2. uyf1950 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    I don’t see the Red Sox going out 3 years even if the 3rd year is an option year. However, if Ortiz has a productive 2nd half of the season I could see the Sox offering him a 2 year deal for say $20M total. There is more to consider then just comparisons to “other” free agents like Thome. For example Ortiz has or will have spent the last 9 years in Boston and has been very productive for most if not all of those years and he is a fan favorite and in many ways is the face of the franchise. That’s just my opinion.

    • screename529 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      Something tells me if he’s looking for a multi year deal during an extremely productive year, that he’s not looking for a pay cut.

      • uyf1950 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        screename – how is $20M over 2 years a pay cut over what his present contract is $12.5M for 1 year? Besides even if you take the stance that it is a pay cut, it’s only a pay cut if some other team is willing to pay him more and I think that’s highly unlikely considering his age now and what it would be in 2 years plus the AL teams that have need for a DH. That’s just my opinion.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        If I were Ortiz, I’d rather have $20M guaranteed than $12.5M, even if it’s a pay cut on a per-season basis.

  3. SusanEAC - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    A lot of DH’s will be forced into retirement, but why give them more than 1 year deals unless they are proven players? All have skill declines anyway.

  4. pisano - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    He has a good chance of getting the extension, how many teams would have given him the 12 mil. this year after a down year. I think he has a shot especially if this year is productive.

  5. bigharold - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    I could see the RS giving him one year with an option but certainly not two. Epstein is far too ruthless for that type of commitment.

    If he’s being honest about wanting to remain a RS then the RS hold all the cards. It makes for Ortiz to want to stay with the RS too because I doubt there are many teams out there that would give him a one year deal for the kind of money the RS would.

  6. dodger88 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    As good a season as he is having he is a candidate to statistically fall off a cliff next year. Going more than one year guaranteed is a significant risk. He appears to be good in the clubhouse, which is a plus, but not nearly enough to matter if he finally loses his ability to crush a baseball consistently. Only a team like the Red Sox can theoretically afford to carry his contract for two years if he fails to produce for one or both. Most other teams could not, thus he will be limited in his choices.

  7. ngearhart1981 - Jul 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    He should go on the Tim Wakefield “one-year-at-a-time-lifetime-contract” deal.

  8. aceshigh11 - Jul 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I don’t think two years is out of bounds.

    He’s had one really “down” year (2009, due to a wrist injury), and last year he bounced back pretty nicely after a HORRID April (.270/32 HR/102 RBI) when almost EVERYONE in Boston was calling for him to be flat-out cut.

    For everything he’s done for Boston, I think a two-year DH gig isn’t an absurd scenario.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Jul 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    I know I’m going to knocked for this, but do you not think the Red Sox front office is aware or at least suspicious of how a guy in his mid-30’s, who couldn’t catch up to a fastball a little over a season ago, is now back in the ASG? What happens if they give him 2 or 3 yrs and then he fails a test or his supplier gets pinched in a federal raid and flips on him? Then they’re stuck paying a lot of money for several more years to a guy in his late 30’s that can’t play the field or catch up to a fastball.

    • kedaco - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      Knocked for saying what looks suspiciously like a he choose to go back on the juice in an attempt get that contract. Red Sox nation can choose to put their collective heads in the sand but MLB should be testing this guy if they really intent on erasing the stain from the steroid era.

    • spudchukar - Jul 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM

      Remember how during the 2008 Presidential Debates Joe Biden said something along the lines of “Rudi Giuliani constucts every sentence with a subject, verb, and 9/11”, well DM41, similarly you seem to have “steroids on the brain’.

  10. vikesfansteve - Jul 12, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Go do some more HGH. All those close ups of his bloated Raul Mondesi Barry Bonds sized head during the derby.

  11. bobwheel - Jul 12, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    If I’m the Sox I wait it out. Let’s see what the 2nd half of the season brings.

  12. derpdederpdederp - Jul 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    theyll let him go and probably sign fielder because apparently thats what the red sox do now

  13. pogodog7 - Jul 13, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Just 2 words to Big Popi: Johnny Damon

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