BOSTON (CBS) — David Ortiz was the center of attention at his final All-Star Game, and he did much more than just play the role of experienced veteran.
When Ortiz hangs them up at the end of the season (and he reiterated numerous times over the last two days that he is indeed retiring after this season), he may have a spot waiting for him in the Red Sox front office. Ortiz already started scouting for his soon-to-be former team, and has a few requests when Dave Dombrowski builds his roster next season.
First, Ortiz already knows who he would like to replace him in the heart of the Boston lineup: Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion.
“The Red Sox know that they need to reinforce the middle of the lineup,” Ortiz told reporters after his 10th and final All-Star Game. “And sorry Blue Jays, but who better than Encarnacion to do that?”
Encarnacion, who leads the American League with 80 RBIs (eight more than Ortiz at the break), is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.
“I feel great because people like David Ortiz are thinking about me like that,” Encarnacion said after the game. “That’s unbelievable. I respect that.”
But Ortiz knows that Boston will need more than just a big bat for the lineup. So he’s set his sights on trading for Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who walked Ortiz in his second at-bat on Tuesday night.
“He has incredible stuff,” Ortiz said of Fernandez. “I thought he was gonna end up playing with me this year. I mean, you never know. I want him in my starting rotation. I mean, we need a little bit of help and hopefully that happens at some point, who knows?”
The 23-year-old Fernandez is 11-4 with a 2.54 ERA this season, with 154 strikeouts in 107.1 innings. The Marlins are competing for a Wild Card spot this season, so a mid-season trade of their ace is highly unlikely. Fernandez has two years left on his contract, and it will likely take quite the haul to snag the talented righty from Miami.
Ortiz may be done crushing baseballs after this season, but it looks like he’s already gearing up for life after his playing days. And like so many other Red Sox greats, from Pedro Martinez to Jason Varitek, he may have a consultant spot waiting for him.
One role we know Ortiz won’t be taking is manager.
“I don’t really think I’d be a good manager, because I see that everybody, a year after they start managing, their hair starts turning gray,” he said with that patented Ortiz laugh.