The team and Ortiz are negotiating a two-year deal that is “very close” to being completed according to sources, but the exact amount of the contract is still being negotiated.
“David is someone who we feel strongly about bringing back, and we’re trying to figure out a way to do that and we hope that happens,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said earlier this week.
Ortiz will become a free agent by midnight Friday if they can’t come to an agreement, which will allow him to talk to other teams. The qualifying offer is less than the $14.48 million he earned in 2012, but has until Nov. 9 to accept the offer. The Red Sox strategically gave the designated hitter the qualifying to ensure if he signs with another team they can receive draft picks as compensation.
One of the teams that has expressed interest in Ortiz is the Texas Rangers. They envision Ortiz as a left-handed hitter who could replace Josh Hamilton, who is a free agent and received a qualifying offer from the Rangers. The Rangers feel Ortiz could the clubhouse more of an edge.
Ortiz will turn 37 on Nov. 18, missed the last 71 of 72 games due to a right Achilles strain he suffered on July 16. The eight-time All-Star finished the season with a 23 home runs, 60 RBIs, and a .318 batting average in 90 games.
In 2003, Ortiz joined the Red Sox and was a central figure in helping the club win the 2004 and 2007 World Series. One-year deals are noting new to Ortiz, who has been in one each of the past two seasons. The Red Sox exercised his $12.5 million option for 2011, and Ortiz accepted arbitration in 2012, settling on a $14.575 million salary.
Ortiz has made his desire to stay in Boston public and is fond of team’s new manager, John Farrell.
“Something will get done,” Ortiz told the Boston Globe about signing a new deal with the team. “I feel good about it.”