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Red Sox to start contract talks with David Ortiz next week

Oct 9, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

David Ortiz AP

General manager Ben Cherington has said that the Red Sox hope to re-sign free agent David Ortiz and Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston talked to a team source who says negotiations will begin “at some point next week.”

According to McDonald the two sides have had some informal talks already, but things are expected to get “serious” next week after Cherington noted that Ortiz “is someone who we feel strongly about bringing back.”

For his part Ortiz has said he wants to a multi-year deal, but for a 37-year-old who missed nearly the entire second half with an Achilles’ tendon injury that seems like a stretch. When healthy Ortiz was still an elite hitter, batting .318 with 23 homers in 90 games while topping a 1.000 OPS for the first time since 2007, but he also wanted a multi-year deal last offseason before accepting arbitration and settling for a one-year, $14.575 million contract.

Back then he was a 36-year-old designated hitter coming off a .953 OPS in 146 games. Now he’ll be a 37-year-old designated hitter coming off a 1.026 OPS in 90 games.

  1. prosourcetalk - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Bad idea, it’s time to move on

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      …..said every fan who wouldn’t mind having Ortiz’s bat in their lineup.

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Oct 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Why re-sign this guy? Money flushed down the toilet, the Rex Rox will finish bottom 2 in the East next year, and when Ortiz is done he will bury the Red Sox in some book deal or interview without a doubt.

    To hell with this guy, move on

    • bigharold - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      Why??

      Because he was the best hitter on the RS last year? I don’t see anybody on the RS current roster that can out hit him,.. assuming that he stays healthy. Because he’s popular with the fan base, .. and they need to have someone to root for. Because you want to show the fans that it’s not just about taking their money, .. that the RS will at least try to do something to get wins.

      Signing Ortiz to a multi-year deal would be a mistake. But, bringing him back for 10-12 mil on a one year deal would be wise. Nobody else is going to give him more so that should do it. Maybe the Rays sign him to replace Pena at 10 mil but otherwise there doesn’t appear to be a lot of AL teams looking for an old DH only kind of player. Besides, .. the RS just dumped nearly 60 mil in contracts so I think they could afford hum.

      I agree the RS have a lot of problems that need to be sorted out and likely won’t be competitive for a few years. But, even as a Yankee fan I like Ortiz and respect what he brings to the club. I’d be a shame if they low balled him and he went elsewhere because he should retire as a RS.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Better make sure he’s using better masking agents than Melky.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Red Sox to start contract talks with David Ortiz next week

    This is starting to feel like an episode of Battlestar Galactica… All of this has happened fefore and will happen again…

    • paperlions - Oct 9, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      Ugh….sitting through a single episode of that show (and I generally love Sci-Fi) is far more painful to me (bad writing, lazy story, and bad acting with great effects and production….man, sounds like the 2012 Red Sox, doesn’t it?) than the entire RS 2012 season was.

  5. jams56 - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    He will sign with the Indians

  6. dwrek5 - Oct 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Here we go… Sox offer him a low ball 1 year deal. Ortiz wants 8 years. Boston Media over exaggerates everything Ortiz says into “I get no respect”. Rinse, wash, repeat…

    • petey1999 - Oct 9, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      And then signs a one year deal with an option.

    • badintent - Oct 10, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      oh hell, just call Cashmen, offer Davey 2.5 years at $11 million a year and throw in some of A-Rod Hollywood hoes ! done deal.

  7. hushbrother - Oct 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Nice PawSox cap Papi is sporting in the pic.

    • rje49 - Oct 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      At first I thought it was a “P”, too. Just his sunglasses in front of the lower part of the “B”. Did Ortiz ever go to Pawtucket to “to get in playing sha….” Nevermind.

  8. bigleagues - Oct 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Prediction: Agreement will be reached rather quietly and quickly. 2 years/ $32 Million w/1 mutual option year for say $10 and performance bonuses.

    For those claiming PED’s, IF evidence ever presents itself, feel free to chirp away. Until then, shut it. Ortiz would hardly be the first DH to be an elite hitter right up to the age of 40. and neither Edgar Martinez nor Paul Molitor had any allegations made either.

    For those that think this is wasted money . . . make your case. The Red Sox have roughly $70M in payroll room at the moment. Barring a monumental trade and the FA signing of someone like RA Dickey (IF Dickey gets to go to FA) the Sox are unlikely to approach their cap this off-season.

    Whether you are aware of it or not, whether you understand it or not . . . Ortiz is one of the reasons why Red Sox fans tune in every night. And while a full season is no longer a certainty out of him, he remains their best option at DH and he has always produced.

    For the Red Sox re-signing Ortiz is a no-brainer.

    Which, this time last year, I wasn’t convinced of – given the hefty contracts weighting down the Sox roster then.

    • bigharold - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      I agree with much of your reasoning as to why sign Ortiz, (see my post above.), but 2yrs/32 mil and an option??? Are you Ortiz’s agent?

      He’s not getting anywhere near 30+mil offers from ANYBODY. Also, there will be more interleague next year which means he’ll not only not be DH in those games, .. he won’t be ‘s a playing unless it’s as a PH.

      Ortiz likely will get a $12 mil/one year offer from the RS hich would seem fair. Maybe the RS give him a two year deal at 12-13 mil/yr with the second year being at the club’s option with a buy out. But I don’t see ANY team throwing $10mil+/yr at Ortiz, .. and I’d bet the RSs don’t see it either so why out bid yourself?

      • larrytsg - Oct 9, 2012 at 6:15 PM

        I’m with you on this one…. I would think 2 years $24 million, and like you say, maybe a third year club option heavy with incentives.

        Yes, I live in Boston, and yes, after this season, Ortiz will be one of the few reasons to bother to watch the sox in the coming couple of years. I doubt the GM will do much in the FA market (not like the Gonzalez/Crawford signings of the past few seasons), so this team will not be markedly better than the current one, which stinks.

      • bigharold - Oct 9, 2012 at 8:41 PM

        “.. I would think 2 years $24 million, and like you say, maybe a third year club option ..’

        I said the second year at the clubs option, .. or at most a vesting threshold for that would be tied to health with like a 3 mil buy out.

        Nobody is giving Ortiz anything that looks like a three year deal nor will anybody else pay him more the 10 mil a year. The Rays who need a bat bad now that Upton will leave and Pena likely won’t be asked back. They were paying Pena like 7.5mil so stretching it to 10 mil for Ortiz isn’t that big a deal. But, other than that I don’t see anybody backing the armored truck up for Ortiz.

        He’s worth the most to the RS, .. like Jeter a couple of years ago. And, he’s produced for them, .. even this year. He deserves to retire a RS and the RS should go out of their way to see to it too, They’ve had too many important RS leave under less than good terms and right now hey should try to avoid any more bad press.

      • bigleagues - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:28 PM

        I fully understand what you are saying but IMHO, and I realize this sounds counterintuitive, but whether or not the Red Sox are bidding against any other teams i think is irrelevant. Although I do agree that under normal circumstances that figure is exactly the kind of tact the Red Sox would take.

        However, Ortiz won $14.75 in arbitration last year and while we may not all like the idea of showing respect for a 37-yr old DH via his next contract, it is what it is and I doubt he will (quietly) settle for much less than $15 x 2 yrs. The Sox already have plenty of positions to fill, so DH is the last thing they want to worry about beyond the end of October, when they already have a proven stud on the hook.

        Ortiz may have not expressed himself in a manner that the team, media or fans prefer, but no one could blame him for his frustration back in the Spring. The dude deserves a solid payday and a little bit of security.

        So ultimately I guessed at $16M x 2 because it will ensure Papi is happy and helpful in case this off-season doesn’t go according to plan. If the Sox are mediocre next season, they will need a happy Ortiz to be out in the public, keeping sponsors happy, doing interviews, etc . . .

        Also a 1 yr mutual option is no big deal as it would require both parties to exercise the option in order for it to kick in. If Papi is injured or stinks the Sox can decline the option, negotiate a new deal or move on. If Papi is a monster and wants a huge pay day the Sox are unwilling to give, then he can decline his side of the option and move on. If after two years, the $10M plus bonuses feels like a good deal to both sides, then all the better.

        Also, until the 1B situation is settled, it ain’t settled. NOTHING is certain over there and no one should be surprised to see a less than ideal situation arise where Ortiz is playing 1B in nearly all of those inter-league games.

      • bigleagues - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM

        larrytsg:

        It would require some big IF’s, but I do believe the Sox could get much better in a hurry this off-season.

        And after what Cherington accomplished in milking the Dodgers for De La Rosa AND Webster after LA had already so graciously made it clear they were springing the Sox from payroll purgatory, I wouldn’t bet against him making some rather sneaky good upgrades and additions.

        I think the FA market does hold a few good solutions, and we do not need to sign or acquire any superstars to put this team back into the thick of contention.

        We do however need Lester to return to form and Lackey to finally give us a healthy season. There are at least 3 solid middle to back of the rotation options I can see the Sox pursuing in FA and they still have Doubrant, De la Rosa, Morales and possibly Barnes to compete for those slots.

        Andy LaRoche would be a nice solution at 1B, but he is reportedly seeking long term security. And I can’t help but think that there will be at least one Upton playing in Boston next year.

        With Bogaerts seemingly on the fast track to The Show with a much speculated switch to 3B, I don’t think it’s a stretch to speculate that Middlebrooks is destined to man 1B as soon as next season (or be a major trade chip) and then go hard after Steven Drew at SS (because Iglesias is NOT the answer), while plugging a short term solution in at 3B until Bogaerts is ready for promotion.

        But let’s just look at one reasonably priced, possible outcome:

        Ellsbury
        Pagan
        Pedroia
        Ortiz
        Middlebrooks
        LaRoche
        Ross
        Salty/Lavarn
        Drew

        That’s certainly a better than average starting lineup offensively and defensively.

        A more radical transformation could look like this:

        Bourn
        J Upton
        Pedroia
        Ortiz
        Middlebrooks
        Ross
        Napoli/Ortiz/Sands (1B)
        Salty/Napoli (C)
        Iglesias

        Its fun to speculate, but unknown trade possibilities, longer term strategies, and other teams may all conspire to produce a completely different scenario.

        Ultimately, I think there are more than enough options available that collectively can provide significant improvement to this team performance, and this, I just don’t think they will stink next year.

  9. willclarkgameface - Oct 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Stupid, stupid, stupid…

    Why on Earth does the team insist on looking to the past to move into the future? This is lame.

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