The soon-to-be 36-year-old designated hitter is a free agent, available to any team that wants to dish out the cash.
Will it be the Red Sox?
As with any free agent, it’s tricky with Ortiz. He had an absolutely outstanding 2011 season, ranking first in the American League among designated hitters with a .953 OPS. He also led DHs with 29 home runs and was third with 96 RBIs. Despite his ups and downs of the past three seasons, he’s hit .271 with an .880 OPS and averaged 28 homers and 96 RBIs since 2008.
There’s reason to believe he can perform at a similar level for the next year or two, and a two-year contract likely best serves the Red Sox’ interests. If Ortiz is looking for more though, it could make things difficult.
For some comparison, Vladimir Guerrero hit .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs in 2009 and could only fetch a one-year, $8 million deal from the Orioles last offseason. That was after a one-year, $6.5 million deal the year before with Texas.
Considering that elite position players can cost more than $20 million per season with no guarantees of success, even a three-year deal worth $10 million a season doesn’t seem too risky for Boston.
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