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Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says talks with David Ortiz are “ongoing”

Nov 11, 2011, 8:44 PM EDT

David Ortiz Getty Images Getty Images

Jonathan Papelbon has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies. Could David Ortiz be the next to leave Boston?

Don’t count on it. Based on what Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters (via following a press conference for managerial candidate Torey Lovullo earlier today, there’s still plenty of optimism about re-signing him.

“We have had a lot of dialogue with David and his agents,” Cherington said. “Because of what I feel, and I think he feels, is a little bit more of a defined market for that role it’s been easier to engage sooner. It’s probably less likely to be a situation where he gets into the market and there’s something that he’s pushed into a corner on. David knows we want him to be here. We want him to be back with the Red Sox. We want him in our lineup. We’ve had a lot of dialogue to see if there’s a way to do that and I think that will continue.”

There was some silly stuff late last month about Ortiz potentially having National League suitors, but most sane people agree he will almost certainly continue his career as a designated hitter in the American League. And that severely limits the market for Ortiz, who turns 36 years old next week, by the way. Jayson Stark of wrote this morning that the Red Sox want to determine whether they can re-sign Ortiz before perhaps turning to Carlos Beltran or Michael Cuddyer, so we can probably expect a quick resolution here.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    The Red Sox are just taking their due diligence- they want to make sure that whatever Big Papi is taking this season won’t show up in any of the known drug screening tests.

  2. daveydawg - Nov 12, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    why sign ortiz at 12 mil when you can go for fielder or pujols for 24…. :)

    • uyf1950 - Nov 12, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      Why sign Ortiz when you can probably get Aramis Ramirez for close to the same money. Ramirez can play 3rd base primarily make Youkilis the primary DH. Since Youkilis has health concerns and asn’t been able to play a full season injury free for a while. Youkilis can then spell both Ramirez and Gonzalez on 3rd and 1st base as needed. This way no real additional per season cost. They save on Youkilis health issues and they have a capable DH that can do more then warm the bench, one that can actually play defense when needed.

      • paperlions - Nov 12, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        Because if you already have club house problems…you don’t add an indifferent (read: lazy) player like Ramirez…he has spend much of the last 2 years not giving a crap, especially in the field…his defense is freaking horrible, and Ortiz has been the far superior hitter to Ramirez…who isn’t exactly young, and is probably looking for a longer deal.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        paperlions – Ramirez is just under 3 years younger than Ortiz and his offensive numbers in 2011 as best I can tell were only slightly below Ortiz’s. Then is it your contention that: Gonzalez / Ortiz / and a combination of Youkilis/Lowrie for example is better both offensively and defensively than a Gonzalez/Ramirez/Youkilis combination? Because I just don’t see it. Youkilis manning 3rd base for about 120 games and Lowrie manning 3rd base the rest of the time are NOT defensive wizards. At least that’s my opinion. I just think a combination of Gonzalez/Ramirez/Youkilis gives the Red Sox a lot more flexibility to mix and match as necessary defensively and gives up absolutely nothing offensively. Again, that’s just my opinion. Obviously you feel differently.

      • paperlions - Nov 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        32 pts of wOBA (which includes 34 pts of slugging, 44 pts of OBP, and tougher competition) is a HUGE difference in production. Ramirez is younger, but he’s never been as good as Ortiz, wasn’t anywhere near as good last year, and is already a horrible defender. A big drop off by Ortiz would equal Ramirez….and Ramirez is probably looking for at least 3 years, while he is younger, both players are of an age that they could fall off of a cliff at any time. Ortiz might whine a lot…but at least he is always trying and he always cares…the same can’t be said about Ramirez…in fact, one of the reasons the Pirates traded him was his inconsistent effort and periods of just not giving a crap.

  3. uyf1950 - Nov 12, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    paperlions, you may very well be correct about the competition but I would venture to guess that Ramirez if he were to play in the AL East he would for the most part be playing in ballparks that are much more hitter friendly than the many of the NL Parks. So I’m not sure one doesn’t offset the other. Also I neglected to mention in my earlier reply that Ramirez would give the Red Sox a much needed additional right handed bat in with power in their line up. A line up that right now is to heavy from the left hand side. Also, is 3 years for Ramirez at who will be 34 in June of 2012 any worse then 2 years for Ortiz who will be 36 in just 6 days. I don’t think so, but that’s just my opinion. Like I’ve said several times before I’m not a stats geek. It just seems to me that you are ignoring the bigger picture by just comparing Ramirez to Ortiz offensively. The way I see it and I said it early and I’ll repeat it here. I just think a combination of Gonzalez/Ramirez/Youkilis gives the Red Sox a lot more flexibility to mix and match as necessary defensively and gives up absolutely nothing offensively. We are just obviously of different minds when it comes to this. And from what I read the Sox are pretty intent on resigning Ortiz so baring some unforeseen circumstance we will never know which one of us is right.

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