A look at David Ortiz and free agency

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    A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    From MLBTraderumors.com:

    David Ortiz has played in just one game since July 16 due to a right Achilles strain, and while he hopes to be back in September, this prolonged injury isn't a good sign for a 36-year-old on the way to free agency.  The injury adds another twist to that should be a very interesting free agent case for Ortiz, especially in the wake of the recent overhaul of the Red Sox roster.

    Before the injury, Ortiz was enjoying one of his best seasons.  The veteran slugger has hit 23 homers and posted a .318/.415/.611 line in 2012, providing solid production all season long and avoiding the slow starts that plagued him over the last three years.  Even though he turns 37 in November, it appears as though Ortiz still has plenty left in the tank and, if healthy, projects as one of the biggest bats on the free agent market.  Ortiz's suitors will be limited to AL teams given his inability to play the field, but as he recently pointed out toWEEI.com's Rob Bradford, his full-time DH status and his recenUspw_6403502t health issues will be less important to teams than his potent bat.

    In this game when you are capable to do what I do, that’s a plus. I don’t care what anybody says. It’s a plus," Ortiz said.  "It’s hard to hit a damn baseball. Harder than what anybody can imagine. If you put two, three David Ortiz in your lineup you’re going to have some results. I guarantee that....[Offense is] what everybody is looking for right now.  They don’t care if you’re a catcher, first base, DH, whatever. If you can produce, trust me, you’re going to play.”

    Ortiz has a point.  Teams have been reluctant in recent years to spend on the DH spot, thus limiting a number of veteran designated hitters to modestly-priced one-year deals.  Several of those veterans are back on the free agent market in 2013, and of that group, Ortiz has by far had the most recent success and is able to consistently produce against both right-handed and left-handed pitching.  His current Achilles strain aside, Ortiz is quite durable for an older player, with just one other DL stint since 2002.

    After having to settle for accepting Boston's offer of arbitration last offseason and agreeing to a one-year, $14.575MM contract, I would guess that Ortiz will certainly be able to find a multiyear contract this winter.  Agent Fernando Cuza should be able to find, at minimum, a two-year, $30MM deal for his client.  The Red Sox will make Ortiz a qualifying offer, but given how such offers are one-year deals worth around $13.35MM, Ortiz will surely turn it down in hopes of finding a better deal elsewhere. 

    The Sox would get a supplemental first round draft pick if Ortiz did reject that qualifying offer and signed with a new team, but it's likely that Boston would make a significant push to bring back its long-time star.  With Adrian GonzalezJosh Beckett and Carl Crawford all gone to the Dodgers, the Red Sox suddenly have loads of future payroll space to work with in the offseason. 

    Two years and $30-$35MM is a very fair price for a hitter who can still generate a 1.026 OPS and locking up a franchise icon like "Big Papi" would also be a good PR move for ownership in the wake of a tumultuous season.  For his part, Ortiz has been vocal about going through the "humiliating" arbitration process and his displeasure with the constant controversy surrounding the Sox, but said earlier this week that he wanted to return to Boston in 2013.

    If not Boston, where else could Ortiz land next season?  The Royals, White Sox and Tigers already have their DH spots filled, the Yankees are known to keep their DH spot flexible so they can rest their older players and Ortiz will want to play for a likely contender, ruling out the Astros, Mariners and Twins.  This leaves...

    • Angels.  This one is doubtful, as while it's possible the Halos could trade or non-tenderKendrys Morales, they're unlikely to do so in favor of a DH who is seven years older.
    • Blue Jays.  Edwin Encarnacion could become a full-time first baseman.
    • Indians.  The Tribe are known to be looking for hitting help this winter and will have an open DH spot with Travis Hafner's contract expiring.  That said, Ortiz might not consider Cleveland to be close to contention in 2013.
    • Orioles.  Jim Thome is in the mix but is a free agent himself and could also choose to retire.  The O's could decline their $11MM option on Mark Reynolds for 2013, moveChris Davis to first base and sign Ortiz as their designated hitter.
    • Rangers.   With Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli headed for free agency, Texas could well make a play for Ortiz depending on how the rest of their offseason shakes out.
    • Rays and Athletics.  I group these teams together as signing Ortiz would be a larger salary outlay than either is usually comfortable making.  For just a two-year deal, however, Andrew Friedman or Billy Beane could think Ortiz is worth it for a pennant run.  The Rays are the likelier of the two to pursue Ortiz given that the Rays are more established contenders, whereas the A's have been a surprise this year.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichFan. Show MichFan's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    Ortiz is a no brainer.  He has been good for the Red Sox and if healthy by sping training the Red sox sign him for $15 Mil if that's what he wants and give him a performance option for year 2.  I don't see Ortiz insisting on a new contract without proving he is able to contribute,  He isn't that kind of a guy.
     
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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from TitleTown11. Show TitleTown11's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    Honestly, I don't think the Sox will have to pay that much. If I were BC, I treat it like the Yankee situation with Jeter. See what the market bears and come back to us with the offer. I expect some of the lower revenue teams will offer more years (2-3) at lower salaries (6-8M) and the big market teams (DET/CHI/NYY/LAA) don't have the need. The only potential spot would be TEX if Hamilton leaves. I expect Ortiz to return for 2 years and 24 Million (absolute max he will get IMO - 2/20 seems more likely)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from slasher9. Show slasher9's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    2 years @ 27MM + club option of year 3 for 13MM with a 1MM buyout.  put this in front of him now and we guarantee we wont have to see our beloved Papi in pinstripes
     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    2yrs 24mm...Very fair price and nobody else will touch it IMO.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ThefourBs. Show ThefourBs's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    In response to A look at David Ortiz and free agency:

    Honestly, I don't think the Sox will have to pay that much. If I were BC, I treat it like the Yankee situation with Jeter. See what the market bears and come back to us with the offer. I expect some of the lower revenue teams will offer more years (2-3) at lower salaries (6-8M) and the big market teams (DET/CHI/NYY/LAA) don't have the need. The only potential spot would be TEX if Hamilton leaves. I expect Ortiz to return for 2 years and 24 Million (absolute max he will get IMO - 2/20 seems more likely)



    I agree. It'll porbably ticked him off, but it's the best way to handle it.

    Particularly, if he's not able to play the rest of the season.

     
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  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    He ain't meeting his WAR this year, but has still been the best hitter--OPS 1.028--on the Sox.  This is the DH league, and the Sox have done well with a very good one for several years.  Achilles plus age a concern, but I would still be tempted to offer him two years at $10M-$12M per.  Using him as the regular firstbaseman is dumb because then you still have to get a great bat for DH.  Ortiz is the best DH around and now the best hitter on the Sox. 
     
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  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from parhunter55. Show parhunter55's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    In response to A look at David Ortiz and free agency:

    2 years @ 27MM + club option of year 3 for 13MM with a 1MM buyout.  put this in front of him now and we guarantee we wont have to see our beloved Papi in pinstripes



    slasher, I think that is overpaying, but I think it is what they ought to offer.  It gives him a chance to retire a Red Sox, and it makes him the highest paid player on the team for the first time ever.  These are both honors he deserves, IMO.
     
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  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from charliedarling. Show charliedarling's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    i am not sure that i would worry about bestowing upon david ortiz the "honor" of being the highest paid player at any time.  if he turns out to be the highest paid player, so be it but i would never do anything to assure that he was such a player.

    as has been mentioned, his injury, his age and the fact that not many teams will be searching for a DH this off season should all be reasons why he has to settle for either a one year contract or a two year deal worth less per year.  it will make little sense to pay this guy (even for all that he has done) in the future unless he continues to produce like he has for the last year and a half.

    i say one year at $14 or two years at $10 is the most i would put on the table until someone else tops those numbers.
     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from SOXNVA. Show SOXNVA's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    I actually like the "making him a 1B" idea bobbysu mentioned (if they are going to go 2 at more than 10 per season). He has not made it through a complete season in the last few years so if you take the number of games he has played a prorate the money, he wasnt worth what he got this year. His lack of HR's is concerning and you also have to wonder why the resurgence of power. It could be due to some form of PED use and if whatever he is taking (if he is in fact taking something) starts to show on the drug tests, you could have him out for 50 or more games. The DH spot has also been a good spot to rest players who want to play everyday. They get to maintain their swing while limitiing some of the wear on their bodies.

    I also agree to let the market dictate what you do with him. Let him go out and try to find the kind of money or years he is looking for. If he does, then make a decision but to offer him top dollars and more than a year initially would be foolish.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from southpaw777. Show southpaw777's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    2yrs 24mm is hardly a "Crawbust" deal and Papi is a proven player in Boston. He takes the rest of the season off to heal and return fresh with a clear mind knowing hes here for 2 more years and can continue to rake...Dont be so sure that Toronto wouldnt put Encarcion(sp?) at 1b and sign Ortiz for 2 yrs. Toronto has some cash to spend. A combo of Papi, EE, and Bautista would be pretty awesome for 2yrs. tampa might also spend a little to protect Longoria too. especially if Upton leaves. The O's could easily make that move also...Not so sure that there isnt a 2yr market for papi at a reasonable 10-12mm per.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichFan. Show MichFan's posts

    Re: A look at David Ortiz and free agency

    Just don't make Ortiz wave a bigger offer in  Sox mgmt face.  Just pay him what he thinks he is worth and make him feel like he is still wanted here.
     
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