David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox will look to keep the good times rolling.
Ortiz, who is entering the final year of his contract, recently expressed his desire to sign an extension with the Red Sox. General manager Ben Cherington said on WEEI’s The Hot Stove Show on Thursday that the club probably will have discussions with Ortiz and his agent, Fern Cuza, in the coming months.
“I can say that because I think there’s always dialogue with David and with Fern,” Cherington said. “That’s important to me. It’s important to ownership. It’s important to the organization to have open dialogue with our key players, and David is certainly one of those. We’ve talked this winter.”
The Red Sox gave Ortiz a two-year contract last offseason despite the slugger missing the tail end of 2012 with an Achilles injury. Ortiz rewarded the Sox by hitting .309 with 30 homers and 103 RBIs in 137 regular-season games and then .353 with five homers and 13 RBIs in 16 playoff games. Ortiz’s strong postseason included an incredible World Series, during which he hit .688 with a 1.948 OPS and earned MVP honors.
Ortiz has been a fan favorite in Boston since signing with the organization before the 2003 season. He has helped guide the Red Sox — a team that hadn’t won a World Series since 1918 before his arrival — to three championships while also serving as the face of the franchise. It’s understandable that the two sides would like to continue their relationship for as long as Ortiz can stay healthy and play at a high level.
“David is a really important player on a number of levels. Obviously, what he does on the field, what he means to the team, his place in the city, all of those things. He’s not just any baseball player,” Cherington said. “When someone like that expresses their strong interest in staying in the organization, I think we mostly take that as a good thing. It’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative. So we welcome that interest. So there will be dialogue, and we’ll just have to see what that turns into.
“Our position hasn’t changed when it comes to David. It has been for some time, and I expect it will continue to be, we want him to finish his career with the Red Sox, and we want him to do that in a way that’s right for him, that’s right for us, that fits his career and fits the type of player that he is, is graceful and all those things. Right now, we’re counting on him being in the middle of our lineup for 2014, and we’re lucky to have him. Certainly, the door will be open, and there will be a chance to talk about it, whether it’s in spring training or into the season.”
Ortiz is slated to make $15 million in 2014. It’ll be his 18th major league season and his 12th with the Red Sox.