Contract negotations between Big Papi and the Red Sox are set to begin next week, according to a report by ESPN.com's Joe McDonald.
The news should come as little surprise, since Cherington stressed previously that re-signing both Ortiz and outfielder Cody Ross would take center stage for him this offseason.
"David is a priority, and we've talked to Cody Ross also," the general manager told reporters as the Red Sox season came to a close. "David is someone that we feel strongly about bringing back, and we're trying to figure out a way to do that. Cody fit in well and had a good year. It's an area of need going forward."
Ortiz, who has been vocal in the past about wanting a multiyear deal from the Red Sox, has said that this upcoming contract will be "all about respect" and not necessarily money. How much of each the team has earmarked for Papi will likely be revealed in the coming days.
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