FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz’s desire for a contract extension has caught the attention of the Boston Red Sox’s front office.
Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino said Friday at the club’s spring training complex in Fort Myers that members of the team’s ownership group met with Ortiz on Thursday. Lucchino was unwilling to offer any specifics about the conversations but said the Red Sox would like to see Ortiz finish his career in Boston.
“We want it to happen,” Lucchino said. “We want him to be a guy who potentially came in with us — even though it was 2003, in our second year — and stay with us for the rest of his career. I think it’s a great thing. I know it’s a great thing for us. I think it’s a great thing for David, and it will be a great thing for baseball and then for Red Sox fans.
“He feels connected. He’s committed. He’s certainly one of the most important faces in baseball, as well as for the franchise, so we’re eager to resolve something if we can.”
Ortiz, who is entering the second year of a two-year deal signed last offseason, has said several times that he’d like to sign a contract extension with the Red Sox. Lucchino admitted Friday that crazy things can happen, but also said he doesn’t anticipate Ortiz finishing his illustrious career elsewhere.
“Since the first day he arrived here, he has been a positive influence on his teammates, a leader, a player connected to Boston,” Lucchino said. “The goodwill he has amassed applies in virtually every area of our operation, and it was vividly demonstrated last April 20. He was the guy to whom we handed the microphone to say something [after the marathon bombings].”
Ortiz, who signed as a free agent before the 2003 campaign, is entering his 12th season with the Red Sox. The nine-time All-Star said upon arriving in Fort Myers this year that he feels great physically and doesn’t intend to retire until he can no longer produce at a high level.