Name: David Ortiz
Position: Designated Hitter.
Actual Weight-probably around 250 at least.
Signed as an amateur free agent by the Seattle Mariners in 1992; traded to the Minnesota Twins for Dave Hollins in 1996; signed as a free agent with the Red Sox in 2003 after being non-tendered by the Twins.
Agent: Fernando Cuza.
Chances of returning to the Red Sox: Very good.
Teams that could use and pay him: Boston Red Sox; Toronto Blue Jays; New York Yankees; Baltimore Orioles; Texas Rangers; Los Angeles Angels; Seattle Mariners; Oakland Athletics.
Ortiz hits for power and walks a lot; he’s a superior hitter in the clutch and has no fear of the big moments—he relishes them. He’s a fiery competitor.
He’s popular in the clubhouse with the media and most teammates; the fans love him and he’s great with children. In 2011, he drastically cut down on his strikeouts.
Ortiz might be a “Red Sox Player”. I don’t mean that he’s a creation of Fenway Park—he’s always hit well enough on the road—but that he’s a Red Sox whose main successes have come as a Red Sox and if he’s taken out of that comfort zone, there’s a chance that the team signing him will get 12 homers, a .260 batting average and endless regret that they didn’t realize that the Red Sox uniform was part of what made Ortiz Ortiz.
When things came apart for the Red Sox, where was he?
He was certainly all over the place after the fact, talking a lot and saying things that would better have been left unsaid. For example, in a defense of his teammates’ gustatory activities during games, Ortiz stated that beer and chicken had long been a part of the Red Sox clubhouse culture; while he was probably telling the truth, he should’ve kept quiet. As for his free agency, he suggested he might want to go to the Yankees—a no-no in all aspects of playing in Boston.
His personality might not work in a different atmosphere and his insertion to a close-knit group like the Angels or a young, rising team like the Blue Jays would be a misplaced puzzle piece.
If he joined a club with little chance of contending like the Mariners, his sunny personality—which is partially an act—has the potential to morph into self-serving and whiny misery.
What he’ll want: 3-years, $36 million.
What he’ll get: From the Red Sox, 1-year, $12 million with an option for another year at $12 million; from another club, 2-years, $25 million.
Teams that might give it to him: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Rangers, Angels, Mariners.
Ortiz needs to stay with the Red Sox. It’s a bad move for him and for a team other than the Red Sox to sign him for more than one year and that’s what it’s going to take to get him to leave Boston. In addition, the pursuit of him might be limited by the knowledge that he doesn’t want to leave Boston and is simply using any and all other offers to extract an extra year or a few more dollars from the Red Sox.
Would I sign Ortiz if I were a club other than the Red Sox? No.
Will it be a “bad” signing for the club that does pay him? For every team other than the Red Sox, Ortiz has disaster written all over him.