Dustin Pedroia certainly hopes David Ortiz remains in Boston beyond 2014.
Pedroia, who signed an eight-year, $110 million contract with the Red Sox in July, told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford on a podcast Monday that Ortiz’s contributions to Boston go well beyond the box score.
“I love the fact that he always has that chip on his shoulder that he has to prove people wrong. I love that about him,” Pedroia told Bradford. “I love David to death. … In my opinion, whatever he wants. For God’s sake, he hit .900 in the World Series, you know what I mean? He’s one of the guys that when we walk into spring training, you don’t even have to worry about what he’s going to do during the year. You know it’s already done. All you have to do is press play.”
Ortiz, who is under contract for 2014, is seeking a multiyear extension with the Red Sox. Ortiz told CBS4’s Steve Burton on Sunday that he hopes to finish his career in Boston, but the 38-year-old also didn’t rule out joining another organization if the Red Sox don’t offer him the multiyear deal he wants.
Ortiz’s comments understandably generated headlines, especially since the Red Sox also need to figure out what to do with Jon Lester, who said last week that he’d accept a hometown discount to remain in Boston beyond this season. Giving a lucrative multiyear deal to a designated hitter who turns 39 years old in November represents a unique scenario, although, as Pedroia noted Monday, the Red Sox follow Ortiz’s lead.
“I don’t look at David as how much money he makes or what kind of numbers he puts up,” Pedroia said. “I look at David as what he brings to our team and how he’s going to help us accomplish our goals, and it goes a lot further than him just being a DH.”
Ortiz, whose 2012 season was derailed by an Achilles injury, had an excellent 2013 campaign. Ortiz hit .309 with 30 homers and 103 RBIs in 137 regular-season games before enjoying a sensational postseason that included a historic World Series performance. In other words, Ortiz has shown no signs of slowing down.
“Everyone doubts David,” Pedroia said. “Everyone thinks, ‘Oh, this is going to be the year that he doesn’t hit 30 home runs and drives in 100. This is going to be it. He’s getting older.’ The only one who knows when that’s going to happen is David, and just by the way he’s talking, the way he’s working, just his mindset, everything, it’s not going to stop.”
Pedroia made it clear during Monday’s WEEI podcast appearance that he hates the business side of baseball, and that he’s glad he doesn’t have to worry about his own contract negotiations for the foreseeable future.