Red Sox Notes: David Ortiz Has A Job In Boston ‘Any Time He Wants’

BOSTON — The Red Sox might not have seen the last of David Ortiz.

The team spoke to the media Tuesday at Fenway Park after the Red Sox were swept by the Cleveland Indians on Monday in their American League Division Series in a game that marked the end of Ortiz’s career. But Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the designated hitter is welcome to remain a part of the organization.

“David Ortiz can have a job in this organization any time he wants,” Dombrowski said. “He’d probably write his job title if he would like, so we’d love to have David Ortiz as part of this organization, yes. He’s going to be welcome to do that. I also know that he has a lot of other opportunities. I’m hopeful that he’ll remain with us no matter what because I know that he’s also going to be given opportunities and sponsorships and broadcasting and all those type of things. But, yes, we would love to have him.”

Plenty of former Red Sox already are involved in the organization, including Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek, who both are special assistants to Dombrowski, and Luis Tiant and Jim Rice, who are instructors. So if Ortiz does choose to take a job with Boston, he’ll join a pretty elite crew.

Here are some more notes from the Red Sox’s media day.

— Dombrowski said he has plans to meet with scouts and talk about the Red Sox’s offseason roster plan going forward, but there already are a few spots he identified that need help.

“I think there’s a couple obvious areas,” Dombrowski said. “First and foremost, when you look at our club, we do have a lot of free agents in the bullpen. That’s one area where we lose a lot of people. Somehow we’ll have to look at replacing some of that, either through them or elsewhere. So that’s something. Of course we unfortunately will lose a big guy in the middle of the lineup that swings the bat from the left-hand side and is a pretty good hitter.”

Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler are the free agents in the bullpen. Ortiz, on the other hand, is irreplaceable, but the Red Sox will do their best.

— Speaking of Uehara, the right-hander turns 42 in April, which certainly is up there in baseball years. However, if Uehara does choose to play baseball in 2017, both manager John Farrell and Dombrowski are open to the idea of bringing him back.

“He’s still a very effective pitcher,” Farrell said. “For someone who has done such a great job of keeping himself in shape even with the pectoral injury that he went through, he came back, maybe not with the same velocity, but the bottom-line results were still as consistent. He’s a great guy to have on a team, he’s a great teammate. An elite performer late in the game. Again, I think there’s pitching left with Koji, but these are all situations that we’ll have further discussion on.”

— Clay Buchholz has a $13.5 million club option on his contract for next season, but the Red Sox haven’t yet decided what they’ll do with it.

— Yoan Moncada went 4-for-19 with 12 strikeouts — including nine in his last nine at-bats — in eight games with the Red Sox in September, and he’s playing in the Arizona Fall League to get back on track. Dombrowski doesn’t think it’s a bad thing that the third baseman was called up, either.

“I think he benefited,” Dombrowski said. “He didn’t benefit by the strikeouts, per se, but I think having the experience to be here and see what it’s like is beneficial to any player. He is a very fine player. I’ve had young players come up and struggle at times and be great players, so it’s not unusual. So I think for him to reset and go to Arizona and get going is healthy for him. … No matter how good a player you are at the minor league level, with rare exception is there not some type of adjustments and struggles at the major league level.”

— Boston has a plethora of catchers with Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez, Ryan Hanigan, Bryan Holaday and Blake Swihart, who’ll return from ankle surgery next season. Farrell does have a front-runner for 2017, though.

“The way we finished, Sandy Leon I think did an outstanding job of emerging and taking the reins and leading our pitching staff,” Farrell said. “There were some things that transpired through the course of the year through injury, through performance, and when you look at the way our pitching staff performed in the second half, there were a number of contributing factors to that, the improvement shown. Sandy I think was one of them.”

— Farrell didn’t have any specifics yet, but there likely will be offseason surgeries for Red Sox players.

“Right in line with the roster and everything else, less than 24 hours, we’ve got a number of guys that have some season-ending things we’ve got to get examined, checked out,” Farrell said. “That’s all ongoing right now.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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