Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
There’s no denying the place in team history that David Ortiz has already built for himself, yet the slugger has once again been the subject of scrutiny over the past 24 hours following comments suggesting that he’d openly go and play elsewhere if the Boston Red Sox don’t give him a lucrative contract extension. Ortiz had an opportunity to explain the context of things, among some other topics, when he sat down and spoke with WEEI’s Rob Bradford for his latest The Bradford Files podcast.
Ortiz confirmed that he has asked the team for a one year extension to his contract. He hopes to avoid the inevitable “contract questions” that will surely follow him throughout the 2014 season if the two sides are unable to agree on a deal.
"We’re good. We’re good. We talked, they’re talking and I just asked for one year. I didn’t ask for anything crazy. It wasn’t like I asked for a five year deal. It’s a one year extension I asked for. I’ve got a contract for this year. I was asking for a one year extension for next year. I think, like I say, I think we had a great season last year and I’m walking into free agency after this season. We had a conversation, they’re outlining what they plan on doing and they’re going to come back to me with their answer at some point."
Ortiz is slated to earn $15 Million in 2014, the last year of a two year contract the team gave him following the 2012 season. He’ll turn 39 shortly after the conclusion of the coming postseason.
Whether or not Ortiz will be welcome in the Red Sox lineup is hardly a question, but rather the biggest concern is just how long will he hold up at his current production rate. Ortiz had a great 2013 season – batting .309/.395/.564 over 600 PA with 38 2B, 30 HR, and 103 RBI – but can he replicate that success again? Can he do it two more years?
Originally signed 11 years ago for a tidy $1.25 Million, Ortiz has certainly earned his place in Boston and has been rewarded handsomely in the process. Boston would be within their right to wait on handing Ortiz an extension, despite Dustin Pedrioa’s “pay him whatever he wants” mentality, but the situation will certainly be an interesting one to keep an eye on.