In an interview Sunday night with WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton for Sports Final, Ortiz was asked about whether he would take a short offer. He responded:
“…time to move on.”
You could feel the chill in the air the moment he said those words, the icy reaction from fans on Twitter Monday morning ranged from dislike to profane.
Ortiz, 38, is in the last year of his most recent two-year extension. Coming off a season where the slugger made $14 million, Ortiz hit .309, 30 home runs while driving in 103 en route to his third world championship in 10 seasons.
As long as Ortiz puts up those kind of numbers, the man will be paid. He still has the talent to call his own shots.
He said before Burton asked the contract question:
“Hey, I would like to. I’m having fun. It’s been a hell of a ride as long as I’ve been here, But as I always keep on telling people, this is a business. Sometimes you’ve got to do what’s best for you and your family.
As long as they keep offering me a job and I keep doing what I’m supposed to do and the relationship keeps on building up, I’m going to be there. Hopefully, I won’t have to go and wear another uniform,”
Ortiz is right. This is a business. You cannot fault him for being honest about that. As much as we marvel at Dustin Pedroia for leaving millions on the table to stay with the franchise he loves, we all know that is indeed a rare trait for a professional athlete.
Jon Lester, who has also indicated that he would take a hometown discount to stay with the Red Sox, will likely sign a deal for $20 million a year. Most of you would not consider that a “discount.”
Need we remind you that the New York Yankees handed Masahiro Tanaka a seven-year deal for a minimum of $155 million. The man has never thrown a pitch in Major League Baseball and will make over $22 million a year to play. If he pitches well, he can opt-out of his deal in four years. There is a good chance he will make MORE than $155 million in his first seven years.
The only demand Ortiz made to the Red Sox was that he is not talking a one-year extension. No money was mentioned and no specific length was discussed.
We never want to see contact negotiation done in public, which is what Ortiz did late Sunday night on WBZ. It comes across as unseemly and arrogant. Do not be naïve, however, to think those things are not being said behind closed doors all the time.
On the last Sunday of January in a slow news month for the team, this reads like a shot across the bow. You should not read it that way.
Ortiz publicly framing the outline of an extension he is willing to sign is just that, an outline. The sport is flush with billions of dollars in revenue. Why should he not get his fair share based in the last couple of seasons?
The chances of Ortiz leaving are as low now as they were while you rolled your eyes at the Grammy Awards earlier Sunday.
This is a business and both sides will make a decision that will be best for their respective businesses.
- David Ortiz Wants a Contract Extension from Red Sox
- David Ortiz: 2013 Boston Red Sox Man of the Year
- Boston Red Sox Slugger David Ortiz Turns 38
- David Ortiz: Hall of Fame Still not Clinched
- Jon Lester Will Cash in on Clayton Kershaw’s Contract Extension
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