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Signing David Ortiz: Right Move for Red Sox

with 2 comments

As usual, Alex Speier has got it right – re-signing David Ortiz is the correct move.

Even if the team needs to sign him to a two-year deal, something they would not do last off-season.

All this depends, of course, on the team assessing that Ortiz is – or will be – fully recovered from the Achilles injury that plagued the last two months of the season. And that’s something the Red Sox should know – given he is under their care.

Why Sign Ortiz

  • Performance. As Speier notes, Big Papi delivers offense. In the four seasons, Ortiz ranks #10 in OPS, #18 in OBP and #8 in SLG – among all hitters in major league baseball.
  • Weak Free Agent Class. In addition to Ortiz, the top hitters approaching free agency this off-season: Josh Hamilton (will require big money, longer term contract); Nick Swisher (Sox should look at him – but he’s not the hitter Ortiz is); Cody Ross (another guy Boston should re-sign); and Angel Pagan (good hitter but not with the pop Papi delivers).
  • Money to Spend. Boston GM Ben Cherington’s brilliant trade with the Dodgers cleared a lot of salary on the Red Sox payroll. So they have the salary room to sign Ortiz.
  • Two Years is Not Long Term. Ortiz is old (37 in 2013) but a DH. Even if he is injured or slows down, it is not a long-term commitment by Boston.

Ortiz is Not Enough

Even if Boston re-signs Ortiz and Ross, the team still needs at least one more big bat. Another reason Boston should keep Ortiz.

Here are some possibilities for that hitter:

  • Swisher. Could be a good add to play first base for Boston. Worth checking out but may be too pricey.
  • Melky Cabrera. Hey, Ryan Braun showed no drop-voff after getting caught (but let go) on PEDs. Could fill the Carl Crawford void in left field.
  • Shane Victorino. Had a so-so season but could contribute in left.
  • Torii Hunter. Another aging veteran (like Ortiz) but had a good season at the plate.
  • Mike Napoli. Could play first and also help out at catcher and DH.

A decent – but not stellar – group. Which shows why signing Ortiz makes sense.

So if Boston signs Ortiz and Ross, who would add as the next bat for the Red Sox?

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Written by Albie Jarvis

October 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm

2 Responses

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  1. More than one bat, IMO, to contend. Assume Kalish plays LF if Ross doesn’t sign and Ells is wisely retained and rebounds to anything between 2008 or 2011, why not one of Youk, Napoli, Davis, ? at 1B, and one of. Hunter, Choo, ? In RF. Choo could lead off. Hunter or Napoli could protect Papi. That creates the relentless lineup Farrell discussed while allowing the bat of Iglesias to develop while his glove makes the pitchers happy: pitching, defense and a .355OBP/200HR/300doubles offense. So, two more bats, one more strong RP, and enjoy the ride.


    November 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    • At first, I like LaRoche (2 year deal max) over Napoli – because of his defense. In the outfield, Hunter or Choo would be good gets. With Hunter, all depends on contract length – and with Choo, depends on what Sox have to give up. Thanks for your comment.

      Albie Jarvis

      November 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm

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