Designated hitter David Ortiz, a.k.a. Big Papi, is staying in Boston through 2014. He has agreed to a two-year contract with the Red Sox that will pay him a total of $26 million. Incentives built-in to the deal could take it up to $30 million.
The Red Sox may have overpaid for Ortiz at this stage of his career, and after an injury shortened 2012 season, but the team may have also been concerned about a competing offer from the Texas Rangers. The lefty slugger would have become a free agent as of Friday at midnight.
According to the Boston Herald,
“Ortiz didn’t want to leave, and the Red Sox didn’t want to lose him, and after years of taking their hardest lines against him, the Sox finally relented and paid him more than they probably wanted, but not by so much that it will impact their budget in any appreciable way.”
Ortiz, who will turn 37 later this month, is a lifetime .285 hitter with 401 home runs. At the time of his 2012 season-ending Achilles injury, Ortiz was batting .318 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI.
Last year, the Red Sox offered Ortiz a “mere” $18 million for two years. ESPN‘s Boston Red Sox blog suggests that overpaying Ortiz now, who has been a huge run producer in the middle of the Red Sox lineup since 2003, can be justified because of the special circumstances involved:
“He has an intrinsic worth to the franchise that makes him more valuable to Boston than any other team, and he might be one of those rare players, like fellow DHs and Paul Molitor, who can sustain performance even in the twilight of his career.”
Do you agree with the new contract for David Ortiz or should the Red Sox have allowed him to test the free-agent market?
[Image credit: Parker Harrington]