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Blue Jays may look to sign David Ortiz this offseason

Oct 26, 2011, 10:39 PM EDT

ortiz award ap AP

Impending free agent David Ortiz told ESPN’s Collen Dominguez earlier this month that he would be open to signing with the Yankees this offseason. While the Bombers aren’t likely to have interest, another American League East foe just might.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the Blue Jays “will not rule out” making a push for Ortiz on the open market because they feel he’d add some needed power to the middle of their lineup, and some needed protection for slugger Jose Bautista.

Ortiz boasts an impressive .954 career OPS at Toronto’s power-friendly Rogers Centre and has mashed 29 home runs at the park in only 91 total games. The Jays aren’t known for bidding on high-priced free agents, preferring to acquire talent in other ways, but Big Papi isn’t likely to command much more than $12 million per season on a two- or three-year deal. And he may even fall short of that.

The 35-year-old designated hitter batted .309/.398/.554 in 605 plate appearances this season for Boston, but he turns 36 in mid-November and his lack of defensive ability will limit his number of potential suitors.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 26, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    If he is a Type A free agent, the Jays would probably pass. The would not want to give up a high draft pick for a player that old. Given his age the best he could hope for is 2 years with a club option for a third year.

    • Kyle - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:21 AM

      Agree. The Jays of all teams seem to value draft picks quite highly.

    • baseballisboring - Oct 27, 2011 at 5:49 AM

      True, even with how good he was last year you wouldn’t wanna go more than 2 years max on him. The Jays are pretty close, but having his bat in the lineup in 2012 wouldn’t be worth the draft pick.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 27, 2011 at 8:03 AM

      “And he may even fall short of that” He may, at that.

  2. bowens3181 - Oct 26, 2011 at 10:57 PM

    Would love the addition. Would provide a little bit more power and protection for JoeyBats in the lineup, and there’s always something to be said for adding a guy who’s been there and done that to the clubhouse

  3. Brian Donohue - Oct 26, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    If they can afford Prince, he’s the choice, but if not, this could work. Would be funny to see him in that uni, and that lineup could be one of the nastiest in the game next yr…

  4. missthemexpos - Oct 26, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    If I am the Blue Jays, I would not be offering a contract to any player for more dollars than Joey Bats is currently making, so that pretty much eliminates Prince from the picture. Ortiz is an interesting possibility. With the stock pile of young talent the Jays have, giving up a high draft pick is not a big deal, more important is not going too many years in any potential deal.

  5. Chris K - Oct 26, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    I know they do it in the NBA but what’s the policy on a sign-and trade in MLB? Couldn’t the Sox just sign Papi and then trade him for a PTBNL or some cash or something so the Jays could avoid losing a draft pick?

    • Mark - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM

      Theoretically, yes. But why would the Sox do that? They’d want the first rounder over a prospect. Or the Jays would just sign him, because it wouldn’t make sense to trade a prospect with more value than the first. They could just sign him themselves.

      I can’t see any scenario where the Sox would want to help a division rival.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:12 AM

      I’m not sure why Ortiz would want to do that, I can’t see him being willing to help his old team at the expense of his old team, especially since they’re divisional rivals.

      • Ari Collins - Oct 27, 2011 at 12:19 AM

        Think he has 10-5 rights, which means he could block any trade.

    • jwbiii - Oct 27, 2011 at 3:40 AM

      Under current rules, a team can’t trade a newly signed free agent until the end of May. Who knows what the next CBA will say.

  6. cshearing - Oct 27, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    Torn on this one. Not a huge fan of the prima-donna side of Papi (this nickname probably does not help matters). On the other hand, he could be great left-handed protection for Bautista. Maybe people will start pitching to him again, and he won’t have to walk 132 times. If they have to give up the high draft pick, I would stay away. Baseball’s draft compensation rules confound me.

  7. dodger88 - Oct 27, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    I feel as though Ortiz could be another Frank Thomas where he falls off a cliff from one season to the next. Not only would he cost the Jays a draft pick but he could quickly become a sunk cost even on a one year deal.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 27, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      We do not have fond memories of Frank Thomas as a Blue Jay. I do have a nice figurine of him hitting HR # 500, but that is the only good memory.

      • foreverchipper10 - Oct 27, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        I actually forgot he was a Jay once upon a time.

  8. paint771 - Oct 27, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Reminds me of the Manny talk about the Jays last year around this time.

    I’m more or less ambivalent about it from a production standpoint. A one or two year deal in the range of 10 million seems okay to me – Papi is still a damn productive bat, and would go a long way to the 2-3-4 (Lawrie, Bautista, Fielder) sort of lineup that Blue Jays fans dream of.

    What might get me off the fence are intangibles (yay!). The biggest of which is Toronto’s legacy as a natural home to Dominican players. Bautista and Ortiz both talked about this surrounding the Home Run Derby, and while that may seem stupid, having a reputation as being a great landing spot for a certain profile of players doesn’t hurt. A lot of players care about such things, and take it into consideration.

    Plus, Ortiz brings extensive playoff experience, already has a great relationship with our star player (Bautista), brings a little celebrity to the team (which, contra cw, I think is a good thing from a butts-in-seats perspective). Point being, even if you assume the money-and-draftpick-for-production bit is a wash, there might be some other upsides here.

  9. frankvzappa - Oct 27, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Hopefully he stays in the division so we can give him some chin music on a regular basis as a response to that BS he said about the yankees awhile ago.

  10. bozosforall - Oct 27, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    He would have a much easier time getting “the boli” in Canada than he currently does in the US.

  11. foreverchipper10 - Oct 27, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Poutine and Molson for Big Papi!!!!

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