Tag:David Ortiz
Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:56 pm
 

Ortiz to play against left-handers, says Francona

OrtizSome numbers for you:

.222/.275/.324 in 185 at-bats in 2010.

.218/.291/.393 from 2008-10.

Those are the statistics of David Ortiz against left-handed pitching, but manager Terry Francona believes Big Papi needs to play against left handers, reports WEEI.

"For David to be successful -- and I see his numbers against lefties, believe me, I do -- you can’t just sit him because I don’t know if he’d have as much success against righties. I know we believe that," said Francona. "I think there are times where it’ll do him good to maybe give him a break against somebody he struggles with. That wasn’t necessarily the case [last] April. He was struggling against everybody, and we were struggling to win."

That's all well and good, but Francona can't afford to play Big Papi with regular frequency against left-handers. While likely true to an extent that facing lefties helps Ortiz in his overall preparation, if the season is halfway in and he's a non-factor against lefties, he needs to take the bench. There are plenty of platoon players in the game, and barely playing against their weak side doesn't affect them.

Mike Cameron simply needs to play, and as fourth outfielder he is going to struggle to do that. Some playing time he can receive can come as DHing against left-handers and while he will probably get to face the pitchers Francona alluded to, Tito can't afford to dilly-dally the entire season when it comes to Ortiz and left-handers. Cameron has hit lefties well his entire career and Boston needs to take advantage of that.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 8:18 pm
 

DH market still crowded

Vladimir Guerrero If there's a surplus of one position on the free agent market, it may be the designated hitter spot.

Jim Thome, one of last season's bargain pickups, is still unsigned, as are Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. And then there's the not-retired Jermaine Dye, Jason Giambi, Russell Branyan, Jose Guillen and Hank Blalock.

So far this offseason, the Red Sox exercised their option on David Ortiz, the Yankees have said they'll move Jorge Posada out from behind the plate, as will the Tigers with newly-signed Victor Martinez. Adam Dunn will be a first-time designated hitter with the White Sox.

As for teams with needs, that includes the team Thome DH'd for last season, the Twins, who would like him back. Of course, after putting up the year he did, he feels like he deserves a raise -- especially with his 600th career home run likely coming this season. The Rays, Angels and Rangers also have obvious needs, while the Orioles, Royals and Blue Jays could upgrade at the spot or stay put.

As it stands, here how the current AL DHs line up:
Orioles -- Luke Scott
Red Sox -- David Ortiz
Yankees -- Jorge Posada
Blue Jays -- Edwin Encarnacion
Rays -- Matt Joyce
White Sox -- Adam Dunn
Indians -- Travis Hafner
Tigers -- Victor Martinez
Royals -- Billy Butler
Twins -- Jason Kubel
Angels -- Mike Napoli
A's -- Hideki Matsui
Mariners -- Jack Cust
Rangers -- David Murphy

And here's who is left on the market (2010 AVG/OBP/SLG HR, RBI)
Jim Thome .283/.412/.627 25, 59
Vladimir Guerrero .300/.345/.496 29, 115
Manny Ramirez .298/.409/.510 16, 42
Johnny Damon .271/.355/.401 8, 51
Russell Branyan .237/.323/.487 25, 57
Jason Giambi .244/.378/.398 6, 35
Andruw Jones .230/.341/.486 19, 48
Hank Blalock .254/.319/.349 1, 7
Jose Guillen .258/.314/.416 16, 62
Jeremy Hermida .216/.268/351 6, 29
Troy Glaus .240/.344/.400 16, 71
Mike Sweeney .252/.321/.444 8, 26
Jorge Cantu .256/.304/.392 11, 56
Jermaine Dye (2009) .250/.340/.453 27, 81

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 26, 2010 5:51 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2010 10:50 am
 

Hot Stove League profile: Jim Thome

For the past three week, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors has been profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today, we wrap up with ageless DH Jim Thome.

Hot Stove League When Jim Thome signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Minnesota last winter, it was greeted with a collective shrug. Thome had batted .249 in 2009, was traded by the White Sox late in the season for a minor leaguer in a clear salary dump, and was approaching his 40th birthday. A wire story on the signing noted that "he'll be more of a bench player than the middle-of-the-lineup-force he's been for 19 seasons."

Well, Thome exceeded everyone's expectations in 2010, likely including those of the Twins. He had a .283/.412/.627 line at the plate, with his OPS of 1.039 the highest since 2002 and his OPS+ of 178 the second-best of his career. He had 59 RBI and hit 25 homers, bringing his total to 589, eighth all-time. He was productive, healthy, and actually got better as the season wore on.

Thome's not going to sneak up on anybody next year, and he's not going to be available for $1.5 million, either. He's going to be back to make a run at 600 homers, but where?

STATS

2010: .283/.412/.627, 59 RBI, 25 HR in 340 PA.

Career: .278/.404/.559, 1,624 RBI, 589 HR (eighth all-time).

Jim Thome WHAT IT WILL TAKE

Thome should command something in the neighborhood of $5 million for one year, probably with an incentive tied to plate appearances. Since he's made almost $140 million in his career and could be playing his final season, you would think he'd be looking beyond money. He'll want to be somewhere he can play, and he'll want a chance at the World Series ring that has eluded him for two decades.

WHERE HE COULD GO

Thome spoke glowingly of his experience in Minnesota, where the former Twin killer enjoyed huge popularity, and Twins GM Bill Smith is on record as wanting Thome to return. One potential sticking point could be playing time.

The reason Thome played so much in 2010 is because Jason Kubel, who was supposed to be the regular DH, was called upon to play in right field after right fielder Michael Cuddyer had to take over at first due to Justin Morneau's season-ending concussion. The Twins have picked up Kubel's option for 2011, and Thome's return would give them two left-handed designated hitters. Thome, who kills right-handed pitching, could end up in a platoon situation, but not with another left-handed hitter.

So who else could use him? The Red Sox picked up the option on David Ortiz, so there went one good option. The Tigers seemed like a decent fit, but now say newly signed Victor Martinez will DH most of the time. The White Sox have been trying to upgrade at DH, and the Angels and Rays also could use a better option there. There are some losing teams in the market for a DH (Mariners, Orioles), but it seems likely Thome will prefer a contender.

PREDICTION

The Twins are able to promise Thome enough playing time to entice him back for one more run at a title.

OTHER PROFILES
J. Bartlett | H. Bell | A. Beltre | C. Crawford | A. Dunn | P. Fielder | P. Konerko | C. Lee | V. Martinez (SIGNED) | D. Uggla (TRADED) | R. Soriano | J. Upton | J. Werth

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 24, 2010 1:50 pm
Edited on: November 24, 2010 1:50 pm
 

Guerrero wins DH award

Vladimir Guerrero
Tack on one more postseason honor for the Rangers, as Vladimir Guerrero was named recipient of the Edgar Martinez Award, given to the game's top designated hitter.

Signed by Texas as a free agent prior to the season, Guerrero put up a .300/.345/.496 line at the plate, with 115 RBI and 29 homers. David Ortiz and Jim Thome finished second and third in voting by baseball writers and public relations officials.

The American League champion Rangers have done well in awards season, with Josh Hamilton picking up the MVP and Neftali Feliz being named rookie of the year.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: November 12, 2010 8:22 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 2:05 pm
 

Hot Stove League profile: Adrian Beltre

Hot Stove Over the next three weeks, CBS Sports' MLB Facts and Rumors will be profiling both free agents and trade candidates who will help stoke the fires of the Hot Stove League. Today, free agent Adrian Beltre.

Take a look at Adrian Beltre's career stats, and it jumps out at you: huge spikes in performance when he's playing for a contract. In 2004 with the Dodgers, with free agency looming, he hit a league-leading 48 homers -- he hadn't hit more than 23 prior to that season and didn't hit more than 26 during his five-year stay in Seattle. In 2010, on a one-year contract, he batted .321/.365/.553 with a league-leading 49 doubles and the second-highest homer total (28) of his career. In those two contract years, he batted a combined .328; in no other season has he eclipsed .290.

It's not unusual for a player to step up in a walk year, and it pays to keep in mind that being healthy was a major factor in both seasons. Beltre is the toughest player I have ever covered, and has a tendency to play hurt and hide injuries, which has impacted his performance. When there are no health issues standing in his way, hit potential is enormous.

Even an average Beltre year is pretty darned good, and very consistent. Per 162 games in his career, he's averaged .275/.328/.462 with 89 RBI and 25 homers -- all while playing elite defense at third base. At 31, Beltre has some productive years left in him, and he's going to be in high demand this winter.

Adrian Beltre STATS

2010: .321/.365/.553 with 28 home runs, 102 RBI
career: .275/.328/.462 with 278 home runs, 1,008 RBI

LAST CONTRACT

Coming off a disappointing and injury-plagued final season with the Mariners, Beltre took a chance on a one-year, incentive-heavy $10 million deal with the Red Sox. He had a player option of $10 million for 2011 (it doubled from $5 million when he passed 640 plate appearances -- he finished with 641), but no way was he taking that when lucrative multi-year offers will be plentiful.

WHAT IT WILL TAKE

There haven't been a lot of good comparisons in recent years to draw from, but look for Beltre to go three or four years at between $12-14 million per. Then again, we shouldn't be surprised if he lands something bigger. His agent is Scott Boras, and Boras said this week that more teams than expected have shown interest. Bidding wars result in over-market contracts.

WHERE HE COULD GO

The Red Sox want to keep Beltre in Boston, general manager Theo Epstein telling reporters Friday that "our first choice for our third baseman in 2011 and beyond would be to bring back Adrian Beltre." The problem is, the Sox also want to bring back Victor Martinez, and they probably can't afford both. They just picked up a $12.5 million option on David Ortiz, and Jonathan Papelbon has a big salary due next year. If bidding on Beltre and Martinez climbs, the Red Sox might have to pick one.

The other strong possibility for Beltre is the Angels, which makes a lot of sense. Beltre is a West Coast guy who loves Los Angeles and keeps two houses in the area, and he's not a fan of playing in cold weather. The Angels have a lot of money and a chance to win. But they, too, are going to pursue two tracks, and Carl Crawford appears to be their top target. It's unlikely they could afford both Crawford and Beltre.

The Tigers have been reported as having interest, but it's tough to see Beltre going to a tough place to hit after his frustrating experience with Safeco Field. The A's reportedly made Beltre a multi-year offer last winter and are in serious need of an impact bat. He also could be on Toronto's radar.

PREDICTION

This depends on what Crawford decides to do, but the best fit for Beltre seems to be the Angels.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: November 4, 2010 2:07 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 6:36 pm
 

Sox pick up Ortiz's option

Ortiz The Red Sox have picked up David Ortiz's contract option, locking him into the Red Sox for another year at $12.5 million as the Boston Globe 's Amalie Benjamin reports.

Ortiz has repeatedly claimed that a multi-year deal would allow him to focus on having a good season in 2011, and it's part of why he struggled in the beginning of 2010. (Nevermind the fact he struggled in 2009 as well.)

Alas, it never made sense for the Red Sox to commit to Ortiz beyond 2011 when they didn't have to. Big Papi should be lucky that Boston even picked up the option -- he will make more in one year what he would have otherwise gotten on the open market.

UPDATE : Ortiz told GM Theo Epstein that the extension was "cool," as the Boston Globe reports. Sound like someone disgruntled but has no choice? Think again.

“He’s happy now with the one-year solution. I think in the end he realized that we weren’t in a position to give him what he was looking for with a multi-year arrangement and this was an outcome that was acceptable to both sides," Epstein said. "That was important to us, to be honest with you. I don’t think we were that interested in picking up an option if it was going to be seen as burdensome to the player or seen as unfair to the player. That was a component of these talks and to make sure that ultimately David was content and comfortable playing on the option. Because if you’re going to pick up an option of this magnitude, you want to make sure it works for both sides."

Epstein also spoke about having "complementary players on the bench" who could possibly DH against left-handers, which would reduce Ortiz to a part-time player. However, Big Papi has increasingly struggled against lefties and Mike Cameron could play against lefties to give the Red Sox additional production.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: November 2, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: November 2, 2010 11:28 am
 

Red Sox decline Hall's option

Bill Hall The latest from the Boston Globe 's Nick Cafardo in bullet points:

• The Red Sox have declined the $9.25 million option on Bill Hall (pictured), but would like to have him back.

• Boston will make a decision on David Ortiz's $12.5 million option soon. The deadline is midnight, Thursday.

• J.P. Ricciardi will make a decision between the Mets or Red Sox front offices.

"I am working on a couple of things and will know more later this week," Ricciardi told Cafardo in a text.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: October 29, 2010 1:27 pm
 

Big Papi wants multiyear extension

Ortiz David Ortiz is not comfortable returning to the Red Sox on a one-year deal thanks to the "controversy" that surrounded his "roller-coaster" season.

Unfortunately for Big Papi, he will have to do just that.

"I want to be back, and I want to be here for a longer period of time," Ortiz said on WEEI , continuing his year-long stumping for a multi-year contract extension. "I'm just a little worn out because of the negativity that I've dealt with the last few years. I don't think there's any baseball player that can deal with all the distractions that I deal with and play baseball. It's hard. I'm not a super hero."

No, Ortiz is not a super hero, but he played like one from 2003-07. He's stumbled since, but his 32 home runs and 102 RBI in 2010 showed he still was one of the best power-hitters in the game after a tumultuous 2009 sapped his batting average.

Ortiz, who has struggled the last two years to adjust to adversity, understandably wants multiple years. Currently slated to become a free agent, Boston has three days until after the World Series to pick up an option worth $12.5 million. Big Papi said -- and not for the first time -- that in order for him to produce and be happy, he needs multiple years added on, not just the option being picked up.

"Every organization wishes they could have a guy like myself the past eight years," Ortiz said. "So am I supposed to be taking [crap] from anybody? No. I've been doing my thing. That's it. And I want to go back to that, because I'm a fun player. I'm a person who likes to have fun. I care about my team. I care about all the stuff that I do. I care about people around me. That's me. I'm not any different. When you're that open and that cool all the way around and you hear people trying to make your life impossible because that they want to sell newspapers, it makes no sense."

The problem here is that Ortiz has already slipped from superhuman levels to merely great levels -- and in 2009, slipped to "approaching retirement" level. At 34, and with the kind of season he already stumbled to in 2009 as well as yet another slow start in 2010 before the jets turned on in May, a multi-year deal seems like a pipe dream for a DH. The market for DHs has tumbled precipitously in recent years, and now the aging sluggers are starting to see teams unwilling to guarantee any more than one year or a figure from $6-8 million.

That's why Ortiz should be lucky to have a $12.5 million option. It's expensive enough that he simply could not do better on an annual rate on the market, but cheap enough that the Red Sox can justify picking up the option and bringing Ortiz back. Boston also has the added comfort of it being a one-year deal that allows the team an escape clause should 2009's year repeat itself.

If Big Papi is that adamant about a multi-year extension, he's going to see his salary slashed. Two years and $16 million seems to be about the maximum one could foresee the Red Sox agreeing to, and even that's an aggressive number. Bottom line: there's simply no reason for Boston to go beyond one year when it doesn't have to.

And if that bothers Big Papi so much, he shouldn't have agreed to the option in the first place when signing his four-year, $52 million deal originally.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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