Hank Steinbrenner won’t be allowed to repeat the mistake he made in taking Alex Rodriguez back after Rodriguez’s 2007 contract opt-out.
With Brian Cashman’s contract expiring and the disastrous Rafael Soriano signing, Randy Levine won’t be interfering again anytime soon.
So David Ortiz can’t hope for some random act of stupidity on the part of anyone aligned with the current Yankees to garner him a contract with the club for 2012.
But as the Red Sox world crumbles, Ortiz’s self-interested complaints and weak defenses of the Red Sox clubhouse charade are not helping matters. Now he’s openly musing about playing for the Yankees.
The Yankees—already overloaded with declining veterans signed to contracts they can’t move—might, might have interest in Ortiz if his stats were attached to another player from another team. But with Mark Teixeira and A-Rod in decline; their “will they or won’t they” decision on bringing back Nick Swisher; the CC Sabathia opt-out and starting pitching holes, the last thing they need is to start another level of the Red Sox-Yankees war by signing Ortiz.
If they’re looking for a mashing DH, they have a young, cheap hitter named Jesus Montero who looks like he’d do just fine if he were given the job full-time.
So what would they need Ortiz for?
Ortiz appears to be living in a past where he was an icon in Boston and the team had no other viable alternatives to him in their lineup and couldn’t let him leave; a time when, with every homer Ortiz launched into the right field porch at Yankee Stadium, the late George Steinbrenner was constantly reminding Cashman how he’d told his GM to sign Ortiz when the Twins non-tendered him after the 2002 season and Cashman ignored Steinbrenner because he had nowhere to put him.
Ortiz is considering leaving Boston?
Where’s he going?
He can’t play the field, so that eliminates the 16 teams in the National League.
The Yankees won’t want him; the Rays won’t pay him. The White Sox have a clogged up DH spot with Adam Dunn and the last thing a neophyte manager Robin Ventura needs is Ortiz walking in with his sideshow. The Indians? The Royals? The Rangers?
None of those teams are landing spots.
The Blue Jays, Mariners, Athletics, Angels, Twins and Orioles could use Ortiz’s bat, but none are going to pay him what the Red Sox will.
Could the Red Sox say to themselves they could use a different, quieter and still productive DH-type like Jim Thome? Someone whose class and likability would add immeasurably to the Red Sox clubhouse? Someone who would absolutely say something if teammates were behaving in a selfish, disinterested way? Plus Thome’s going to be much, much cheaper than Ortiz.
Ortiz had better be careful.
Terry Francona and Theo Epstein were icons in Boston as well and they’re gone. Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield are on the way out the door. Jonathan Papelbon and Kevin Youkilis could be right behind them.
The more Ortiz talks, the more the Red Sox might add him to the list of people they have to purge from the poisoned clubhouse to begin refurbishing and repairing.
He has few options and definitely won’t make the money he’s made in Boston.
My advice to him would be to shut up and hope the Red Sox forget that he was one of the players who should’ve and could’ve put a stop to the nonsense that went on there in 2011; nonsense that played a large part in sabotaging their season and started this mass exodus and changes that no one saw coming on September 1st.
Ortiz might get caught in the waterfall.
And he won’t be landing in New York.