Ross. Super cool and a bona fide dirt dog. Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

For Ross and Ortiz It's Contract Go Time


As crisp fall weather descends on New England and a few logs are being placed in the hot stove, contract negotiations for Cody Ross and David Ortiz are starting to heat up.

David Ortiz. Stay healthy my friend. Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

The signing of  Ortiz, .318/.415/.611 with 23 home runs and 26 doubles, will be a priority for Red Sox management. “David is someone who we feel strongly about bringing back and we’re trying to figure out a way to do that and we hope that happens,” GM Ben Cherington said at the end of the regular season. Talks are set to start in earnest next week.

Ortiz was vocal last year about his desire to sign a multi-year deal. With $270 million in salary recently unloaded to the Dodgers, Boston is in a much better position to negotiate with Ortiz this year, although at 37 it would be unwise to offer more than a two-year deal. I have always contended that when the wheels come off the Ortiz cart it is going to be in a hurry and Boston needs to guard what essentially happened this year; a productive year brought to a halt by an achilles injury suffered while jogging around the bases after a teammates home run.

Further, there are new rules this year under the collective bargaining agreement that are not in Ortiz’s favor. Instead of arbitration, teams have an option of making a qualifying offer based on the average salary of the top 125 players in the league.

For Ortiz, who made $14.58 million in 2012, that would mean a cut in pay since the average salary is expected to be somewhere near $13 million.

Ross, who signed a one-year $3 million deal with the Sox for the 2012 season, says he is already in contract talks with Boston management. Ross was one of Boston’s few pleasant surprises both on the field and in the clubhouse during an otherwise wretched campaign. Ross’ line of .267/.326./.481 with 22 homers and an uncanny ability to stay motivated and above the fray made him a stable and solidifying influence on the club.

As reported on espngo.com, a source recently told ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes last month that the Red Sox had spoken with Ross, telling him they’d like to bring him back. Ross is rumored to be looking for at least a three-year deal from the Red Sox.

If Ross solves his road productivity he could become even more valuable to Boston.

At Fenway, Ross hit .298 with a .356 on-base percentage, a .565 slugging percentage, and a .921 OPS. The road was a very different story for Ross. Away from Fenway, he hit .232 with a .294 on-base and .390 slugging percent that resulted in a .684 OPS.

The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I want money
- Money (That’s What I Want), Flying Lizards (and many, many, many others)

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Cody Ross David Ortiz