Ortiz coming back, expected to take arbitration

December, 6, 2011
DALLAS -- With no other offers on the table and a midnight Wednesday deadline for accepting salary arbitration looming, David Ortiz will be back with the Red Sox in 2012, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

Ortiz is planning to accept the Sox offer of arbitration, according to a report by Enrique Rojas of ESPNLosAngelesDeportes.com. That would bump his salary from $12.5 million this season into the $14 million-$15 million range. A source close to Ortiz confirmed Tuesday night that Ortiz is clearly leaning in that direction.

The only known offer that Ortiz has is a two-year, $18 million proposal from the Red Sox, as reported by Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com. The Sox almost certainly would prefer that he take the two-year deal, since the average annual value of $9 million would be a smaller hit against their payroll for luxury-tax purposes. There is still time for the sides to tweak the multiyear offer, but either way, Ortiz is staying in Boston.

General manager Ben Cherington said Tuesday the sides are still talking, and that the Sox “remain hopeful” he will be back.

“That’s been our position all along,’’ Cherington said. “We haven’t agreed to anything yet.

“If there’s a way to make it work, we’d like to have him on the team moving forward and potentially have him finish his career with the Red Sox. But we haven’t reached an agreement on a contract.

“We’ve had good dialogue, and I think there’s a good understanding of our respective positions and a lot of mutual respect. If we don’t reach anything by tomorrow, we’ll see what his decision is. If we don’t and he accepts, then we’ll be happy with that outcome.’’

Ortiz was in New York Tuesday night, attending the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year awards dinner honoring Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and Tennessee coach Pat Summit as co-winners.

“Gretzky, Sugar Ray, Chris Evert, D Robinson and me honoring Pat Summit and Coach K,’’ Ortiz tweeted from the event.

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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