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BOSTON (CBS) – He’s one of the most beloved Red Sox in recent history and he’s coming back.
Sources say David Ortiz will accept salary arbitration from Boston and he will return for the 2012 season.
Ortiz has until 11:59 P.M. Wednesday to make the announcement. Sources tell WBZ’s Steve Burton that he has already decided.
General Manager Ben Cherington wouldn’t comment on a possible Ortiz decision on Tuesday, but did reiterate the Red Sox desire to have him back.
“We’re hopeful that he is on the team next year,” Cherington told WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Jonny Miller from the Winter Meetings in Dallas. “He has a decision to make and we respect that decision. We’ve had a good respectful dialog with David and his agent over the last couple weeks. We’ll see what that decision is and hope that David is on the team.”
Ortiz earned $12.5 million in 2011 and he could get around $15 million in arbitration. There’s no doubt he was seeking a pay raise and according to multiple reports the Sox were offering a two year deal worth $18 million, meaning Ortiz would get $9 million a year.
Even if Ortiz accepts arbitration, the two sides can still negotiate a two-year contract.
According to sources, if Ortiz did not accept arbitration, there were at least three other teams in the mix that would make him an offer.