BOSTON SPORTS DESK CORRESPONDENT
Give Papi what he wants!
This season has been a roller coaster ride for the Boston Red Sox that has featured clubhouse drama, the trade of Kevin Youkilis, devastating injuries, and inconsistent play.
However, the one reliable piece of the team has been the play of David Ortiz. Big Papi is batting .302 with 22 Home-runs and 55 RBI. On Wednesday, he hit his 400th career home run in a 3-2 loss against the Oakland Athletics. Ortiz is on pace for another 40 Home run season and is currently 1st in the AL with 46 Extra Base Hits (XBH) and 4th in Total Bases with 178.
Recent talk has not been about Papi’s play yet rather his contract situation. He is currently under a one year deal worth a little over 14 million and will be up for free agency at the end of the year.
On Wednesday, Papi expressed his feelings about prior contract negotiation with the Sox “It was humiliating, there’s no reason a guy like me should go through that. … And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.” Ortiz is referring his arbitration case that was avoided last year when the Red Sox agreed to give him a 1 year 14.5 million dollar deal.
Ortiz has expressed publicly that he is looking for a two-year contract to give him a little extra security. The Red Sox have been weary of Ortiz’s age and ability to stay productive over longer contracts. He is 36 years old but without a doubt the best Designated Hitter (DH) in the league.
Many analysts justify the Red Sox reasoning by arguing that a team should not pay their DH equivalent to two-way position players. I look at it as production is production and David Ortiz has been one of the most consistent players in the league at the plate over the past two years. I can’t even start to mention the importance that Ortiz has meant to the club throughout his tenure. He is famous for countless Home runs and coming up clutch in big games. If there is one guy I want up against Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th at Fenway in Game 7 of an American League Championship Series, it’s David Ortiz.
Not only has Ortiz been the face of the Red Sox on the field he has been just as visible off the field. When people think of the Boston Red Sox Big Papi is the first on their minds. It would be extremely difficult to see the Sox let him walk in free agency because of money difference. I totally agree with Ortiz’s point about the sox offering new players big deals to come play in Boston while they have been short-changing him.
Carl Crawford, John Lackey, and Adrian Gonzalez all got long lucrative contracts to come to Boston and so far the only one who has produced has been Gonzalez. It’s time for the Sox to reward their lone All-Star with some security.