Reporting Dan Roche
It was a no-brainer for the Red Sox to exercise their option on David Ortiz for next season at $12.5 million.
(And by the way, from what I understand this doesn’t appear to be a move that would allow the two sides more time to hammer out a longer deal.)
The soon-to-be 35-year-old was solid as the team’s DH all of last season, hitting .270 with 32 HRs, 102 RBI, with an OBP of .370 and a slugging percentage of .529. Not too many “designated hitters” can do that.
David also was consistent after a .143, 1 HR, 4 RBI April. After a 10 HR, 27 RBI May, he averaged 5 HR’s per month the rest of the way.
He hit .278 with 15 HR and 56 RBI at home and .264, 17, 46 on the road.
His biggest problem came against lefties when he hit just .222 with 2 HR and 24 RBI.
He’s also getting up there in age, but for a one-year deal I like it.
David has said he wanted a longer deal, but at least he’s getting above market value in his deal.
He also only now has to go out and do what he did a season ago. If he does, he’ll get another deal. That’s just where he’s at right now. Much like Vladimir Guerrero, who had his $9 million option declined with Texas, but will still get a decent deal.
As for David, if Theo doesn’t exercise the option, then you know a team like the Yankees would have given him a one year (at least) deal worth good money to DH.
You can also argue that David deserved a two-year deal out of respect for what he has done and for what he brings to the table in a tough city to play.
The other part of that equation is all next season we’ll hear, “Is this your last year in Boston?”
As for those who want a better solution than Ortiz?
I think it’s too early in the off-season process to even guess at that.
You could obviously re-sign Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre instead, but the cost would be huge in terms of both years and money. Yes, you would have flexibility in the DH spot, but would it produce the 30-HR, 100-RBI that you know you will come close to with Ortiz.
I think ideally Theo would like to find a big bat this off-season that is young (Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, etc??), but that would be for first base.
You also need David if Beltre and/or Martinez aren’t re-signed.
One last thing… you also know that David is not a bad clubhouse guy. He cares as much about winning as anyone in that room. And, that is a big thing, especially in a tough town like Boston.
So, consider this move number-one of the off-season for Theo Epstein. Hopefully, there will be a few more big ones too.
I’m looking forward to that.
How about you?