Boston Red Sox all-time best free agent signings

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Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

David Ortiz

David Ortiz has had a prolific career, but he didn’t become the Big Papi we know today until he arrived in Boston.

In the early stages of his career Ortiz spent parts of six seasons with the Minnesota Twins as a part time first baseman and DH. While the power in his bat was evident even in those days, he was still considered an injury prone player without a position with massive holes in his swing against left-handed pitching. The Twins designated Ortiz for assignment after the 2002 season after failing to find a team willing to trade for him.

The Red Sox picked Ortiz up off the scrap heap despite not having a clear path to playing time available, signing him to a 1-year, $1.25 million deal. He played sparingly in the first couple months of the 2003 season, but would soon force his way into the everyday lineup as the DH. Ortiz would end up hitting 31 home runs and driving in 101 RBI in his first season in Boston, while finishing fifth in MVP voting. Suffice it to say, the Twins immediately regretted letting him get away.

The rest, as they say, is history. During his time in Boston Ortiz has won three championships, made 9 All-Star appearances, won 6 Silver Slugger awards and finished in the top-10 in MVP voting six times. His postseason heroics are legendary and last season he added another milestone to his career by joining the 500 Home Run club.

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Ortiz ended his tenure in Minnesota having been cast aside as a flawed hitter that nobody wanted. He’ll end his career in Boston as the greatest designated hitter to ever play the game on a path to Cooperstown.