The chances are very high that the face of the franchise will actually agree to an extension for 2015 before the team leaves the sunny confines of Fort Myers, but suppose for a minute they cannot agree.
Assuming he does not hit .225, strike out 190 times and has incriminating photos of Dustin Pedroia wearing shoe inserts, Ortiz will play his 13th season with the Red Sox.
Why? Why can this third-rate sports writer be so sure? Well, you can thank the qualifying offer clause of the most recent collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association.
Provided Ortiz does not do two of the three things outlined above—Pedroia using shoe lifts does not automatically disqualify Big Papi—all the Red Sox have to do is tender the slugger a qualifying offer.
By definition, a qualifying offer is a one-year deal worth the average of the top 125 contracts in baseball. For 2014, that would be $14.1 million. The same deal Stephen Drew turned down and…oh yeah, he is still unsigned.
With massive contracts handed out this current offseason that number should shift closer to $15 million for next year. Would Ortiz take that? No.
Nevertheless, if he goes elsewhere, it will cost that team a first- or second-round draft pick. Do you think any American League team outside of the Bronx is going to fork over a draft pick for a 39-year-old player that cannot field?
Yeah, we cannot think of one either.
If it truly comes down to the Sox and New York Yankees, they overspend and re-sign him.
Ortiz’s recent comments, and subsequent panic and reaction, are due to nothing else going on with the team and New England. The Boston Bruins are chugging along, the New England Patriots are done and the Boston Celtics…well, there is always next year.
Although Ortiz negotiating in public was perhaps not the smartest of moves, benign comments to the press at the bottom of the New England sports cycle means nothing.
When you play with the amount of emotion and pride on your sleeve as Ortiz does, in the back of your head, you want to know that you are appreciated. In this case, back up the bank vault as he wants the cash.
Really, can you blame him?
- David Ortiz: 2013 Boston Red Sox Man of the Year
- Boston Red Sox Slugger David Ortiz Turns 38
- David Ortiz Demands Multi-year Extension from Boston Red Sox
- David Ortiz Wants a Contract Extension from Red Sox
- David Ortiz: Hall of Fame Still not Clinched
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