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UPDATE: David Ortiz accepts Boston’s arbitration offer

Dec 7, 2011, 9:05 PM EDT

David Ortiz Getty Images

Confirming some of Tuesday’s reports, Jon Heyman states that free agent David Ortiz is taking Boston up on its offer of arbitration, making him a signed player.

After hitting .309/.398/.554 with 29 homers and 96 RBI in 2011, Ortiz would seem to be in a great position to command a raise from last year’s $12.5 million salary, which is troubling for a Red Sox team that would prefer to avoid paying the luxury tax next year. However, it’s still possible that the two sides will work out a multiyear deal that would be more favorable to Boston. Ortiz is reportedly asking for $25 million for two years.

Ortiz’s return probably takes Boston out of the mix for Josh Willingham. The Red Sox may sign a right fielder if one falls into their laps, but pitching in the bigger priority at the moment.

  1. bozosforall - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    Milk them for all you can get, Ortiz!

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    My guess is the Red Sox offer $13MM, Ortiz counters with $15MM and they settle on just over $14MM.

    • bozosforall - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:43 PM

      Here’s to the arbitrators giving Ortiz the entire $15 mil. He’s earned it.

      • clevername1 - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:43 PM

        I am shocked! I agree.

    • bigharold - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:42 PM

      ” they settle on just over $14MM.”

      I would think that Ortiz would at least hold out for an option with a buy out. Otherwise what does he have to lose?

      • JBerardi - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:18 PM

        You can’t get an option year in arbitration, if that’s what you’re suggesting.

      • bigharold - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:07 PM

        No, I understand that. I’m thinking that unless he gets at least a one year deal with an option I don’t see the logic in accepting a one year deal for 14 mil as was suggested. Either take the arbitration and live with whatever you get or get your two year deal, even if it’s in the form of an option, vesting perhaps, and a buy out.

        Settling to avoid a hearing makes little sense at 14 mil since it’s only a slight improvement over what he made last year, ( and yes, I realize that by slight improvement I mean more than I’ll make in the next 15-20 years if I’m fortunate enough to live that long and maintain gainful employment). If it gets as far as a hearing go for broke.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:22 PM

        I don’t think you understand how arbitration works. If he asks for more than $15MM in arbitration, he’ll make it more likely the arbitrators will take Boston’s numbers.

        $14MM (or thereabouts) is likely to be the midpoint and where they settle, until and unless they negotiate a two-year deal.

      • bigharold - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:51 PM

        “I don’t think you understand how arbitration works”

        I understand how it works, .. I don’t agree with the 14 mil as acceptable from Ortiz point of view. What are the RS going to offer, .. less than what he made last year? What’s the likelihood that an arbitrator accepts that?

        In all likelihood they’ll offer about 13 mil since he made 12.5 mil last year. So for a 1.5 bump he might as well ask for 15 mil and if he has to, settle for the 13 mil that they’ll likely offer if it goes against him. Unless he gets the two years and close to the money that he really wants, or at least a realistic shot at it with an option, he might as well stick to his guns. If he starts out by accepting a one year deal in any form he gives the RS the upper hand. It’s not as important that he makes an extra million for one year as it is that he demonstrates that he’s committed to multiple years. The RS gave up significant leverage when they offered him arbitration because there is no longer the specter that the RS could decide not to re-sign him and put him in the 8-10 mil range that he’d have to hustle to get with any team not the RS.

      • florida727 - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:19 AM

        “Ari Collins”, sorry, but you’re the one that doesn’t understand arbitration. They don’t settle in arbitration. That would be “mediation”. In arbitration, both sides put out a number and the arbitrator chooses one based on the factual evidence supporting each one’s position. The arbitrator may or may not choose to use past incidents (other arbitration decisions of a similar nature) to guide his decision. Not supposed to though. Each case in arbitration is to be presented as a prima facie matter… a case that stands on its own merit. Bottom line though, no, they wouldn’t “settle on just over $14MM”, with “settle” being the key word there.

  3. hammyofdoom - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    I love this, because even if Ortiz is doing great half way through the season they can tack on another year (unless the Sox plan on going with youk at DH and Middlebrooks at 3rd. This gives them plenty of flexibility, and if Ortiz keeps chugging along this can be nothing but a plus

  4. jeteribarelyknowher - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:23 PM


  5. bozosforall - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    I wonder how the arbitrators will resolve the difference between how often Ortiz wants his steroids delivered (weekly) versus how often the team wants to deliver them (monthly). Maybe they compromise by doing it twice a month?

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