Tag:David Ortiz
Posted on: October 26, 2010 10:21 pm

Ortiz confident he'll return to Boston

David Ortiz David Ortiz said he's confident he'll be with the Red Sox next season.

The Boston Globe 's Mike Vega tracked down Ortiz at the Heat-Celtics game. Ortiz said the Red Sox haven't told him if they'll pick up his $12.5 million option for next season, but he's confident he'll return.

"We're going to talk next week," Ortiz said.

The Red Sox have until three days after the conclusion of the World Series to pick up his option. If they don't pick it up, he'll become a free agent.

Ortiz, after a slow start to 2010, hit .270/.370/.529 with 32 homers, his best numbers since 2007.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: October 22, 2010 2:22 pm

Taking a look at 2011 projections

Bill James, the leading sabermetrician of our time, has been hard at work on his 2011 Bill James Handbook , in which he releases projections for players.

As with all projections, James was way off on several players in his 2010 projections, but hit some on the nose and came close to many.

As James writes, it's inevitable that projections miss on some players. After all, who could have expected Jose Bautista to slam 54 home runs?

But for the most part, projections do come close to approximating what a player will do. So let's dive in and check out what Bill James thinks of several players.

Alvarez Pedro Alvarez (photo, right): The Pirates rookie got his major-league career off to a decent start in 2010, finishing at .256/.326/.461 with 16 HR. Meanwhile, Buster Posey makes Pittsburgh look silly for plucking Alvarez and Tampa Bay idiots for taking shortstop Tim Beckham. However, the Bucs may just end up loving Alvarez in 2011. James has him down for 27 home runs and 103 RBI, hitting .277/.352/.501. Sounds pretty good.

Jose Bautista : So, his his power surge for real or is there a reason Bautista never topped 16 home runs in a season before? James thinks it's for real and tabs Bautista for 34 blasts in 2011. Makes sense, as Bautista was hitting somewhat over his head and pitchers will have a better understanding of how to pitch him. He should finish at .251/.355/.509.

Josh Beckett: Boston will have plenty of reasons to be happy with its rotation next year. After Josh Beckett struggled to a 5.78 ERA in 21 starts, James feels Beckett will rebound to post a 3.86 ERA in 26 games. Couple that with John Lackey 's 33 starts of a 3.89 ERA and Daisuke Matsuzaka finding a way to overcome 73 walks for a 3.85 ERA, and you suddenly have a deep rotation that has Jon Lester up top and Clay Buchholz. An ace followed by four No. 2-3 starters? Yes please.

Adrian Beltre : Beltre re-established his value and much more in Boston, where he put Seattle and his failures therein behind him to hit .321/.365/.553. But was that just a contract-year push? Kind of. Beltre won't sniff being an MVP candidate again, as James says, but should still be worth every dollar afer hitting .283/.335/.477 in 2011.

Ryan Braun : When someone hits 33 home runs, scores 108 runs and drives in 114, that's got to be a pretty good MVP candidate. Except that Braun's 2011 projected totals may not be enough to overtake teammate Prince Fielder , who has 41 blasts projected to his name with 100 runs and 114 RBI. He's expected to hit .276/.396/.541 with Braun at .310/.372/.551.

Domonic Brown : One concern the Phillies have is how well Dominic Brown can step into the large shoes that will be vacated by Jayson Werth. Well, no problem: Brown's on pace to hit 26 homers and go .288/.346/.505. Next step for Philadelphia: finding a right-handed bat to break up Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Brown.

Halladay Roy Halladay (photo, right): A perfect game, postseason no-hitter and 2.44 ERA later and Halladay has nothing left to prove in the NL. James does see a step backwards, however, to the horrifying high of a 3.16 ERA. That ERA certainly figures to go under 3.00, but it's impossible to project anyone landing below a 3.00 ERA which is why Halladay lands at 3.16. He has compatriots Cole Hamels with a 3.45 projected ERA and Roy Oswalt at 3.38. Sounds like another NL East Division title is en route to Philly.

Derek Jeter : So, will Jeter rebound from his .270/.340/.370 showing in 2010 and be worth whatever ridiculous deal the Yankees give him in the offseason? Well, James does see a bounceback -- but his days as a legitimate All-Star are done. (Of course, he'll still be elected.) Jetes should end up at .295/.365/.410 as James guesses, not that far off from what Jeter put up in 2008.

Cliff Lee : Lee is going to make a lot of money in 2011. But interested teams may want to take a look at James' projected ERA and back away slightly. At 3.50, he would still be a good pitcher, but not great nor sublime as he has been thus far. He finished 2010 with a 3.18 ERA, 2009 with 3.22 and 2008 with 2.54, so it takes quite a leap to think Lee would go up to 3.50. A projected 49 walks will do that, even though he had an unimaginable 18 in 2010. (43 in 2009.)

Tim Lincecum : The Freak draws the honor of the lowest projected ERA, at an even 3.00 while striking out 233 batters. Lincecum will be looking to take back the Cy Young title from projected winner Roy Halladay, and so far it looks like Bill James is giving him the nod for 2011.

Jesus Montero : Do we have an early candidate for Rookie of the Year? James has Jesus Montero putting up huge numbers as a 21-year-old in the majors, banging 21 home runs and hitting .285/.348/.519. Hard to beat those numbers and power, especially at Montero's age. The only comparable is Michael Stanton.

David Ortiz : Well, even James himself can't know if Ortiz will get a third straight season off to a bad start, but regardless, Big Papi is expected to finish with 33 home runs and 112 RBI. That would be the most home runs hit since 2007 (he finished 2010 with 32). It would also be a high in RBI since 2007, along with batting average. If Ortiz can pull that line off, he'll be in line for a nice payday as a free agent.

Stanton Mike Stanton (photo, right): Stanton has already put baseball on notice as a 20-year-old. So what the heck is he to do in 2011 with a full season of playing time? That's easy -- 38 home runs. The only knock against Stanton will be that his plate discipline isn't advanced enough, leading to a .268/.335/.556 line. If he can eventually learn to take enough pitches and get the batting average over .280, he could be a mega-star.

Brian Wilson : Currently busy trying to propel the Giants to the World Series, Wilson at least can rest easy in the idea that James has him leading all closers in saves next season. He's expected to nail down 48 saves with a 3.04 ERA. The save total is exactly the same as what he ended up with in 2010, but the ERA was lower at 1.81. An xFIP of 2.99, however, backs up the projected 3.04 ERA.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 1:34 pm

Ortiz close to DH RBI record

David Ortiz
The Red Sox don't have much on the line this weekend besides the opportunity to play spoiler for the Yankees, but David Ortiz can finish the season on top of an impressive list.

Ortiz has 102 RBIs, tied with Adrian Beltre for the club lead, and has notched his sixth career 100-RBI season -- only Ted Williams (9) and Jim Rice (8) have more in Red Sox history.

An RBI single in his last game gave Ortiz 1,000 as a designated hitter, and he's just three behind Edgar Martinez for the most runs driven in by a DH. Harold Baines is third at 978.

Ortiz is in the lineup in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, and the Red Sox play their final game of the season Sunday.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 24, 2010 12:13 pm

David Ortiz wants multi-year contract

David Ortiz David Ortiz wants a multi-year contract extension, and he's making that very clear.

"I’m not going to feel comfortable coming back here just for a year just to re-live all the pressure and all the stuff I’ve been through," Ortiz told Rob Bradford of WEEI . "I don’t think it’s fair for myself. I think about things and I go through a lot of things mentally, especially for this club."

Big Papi has a $12.5 million club option for 2011 that the Red Sox will, in all likelihood, pick up after Ortiz staved off yet another April downturn to post 31 home runs and 96 RBI through September 24 with a .261/.362/.527 mark in 569 plate appearances.

"The Red Sox are in my blood," Ortiz added. "If there is an organization that I always look at as home, as it’s part of me, it’s this one. This is the organization I’ve been the longest with. I carry a lot of responsibility playing for this ballclub. I try to keep up with it. But I don’t think I can keep up with all the crap that you go through just because you cool off for one week or one month. I think the only way you can stay away from that when people know you have a guaranteed contract."

It's pretty clear that Big Papi can, in fact, keep up with "all the crap" without a guaranteed contract because that's exactly what he did this season -- and in 2009, it took him two months to snap out of his funk even knowing he was in town for another year. In fact, could the lack of a guaranteed deal in 2011 have aided in his motivation and turnaround?

Ortiz isn't very interested in finding that out again, saying he would play under the club option if he "had to" but would prefer to sign a deal that guarantees he finishes his career in Boston.

"I want to be what I was here and be part of this ballclub until I finish my career," Big Papi said. "I feel for this ballclub. Believe or not, every year I try to work harder to put up the numbers that I put up there. Even going through some tough situations I think I’ve done a pretty good job."

Ortiz has indeed done a good job but at age 34 and strictly a DH, he seems to have an over-inflated sense of worth, the same worth that has been stripped away from other players once hitting the free-agent market such as Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero. If Ortiz wants a multi-year deal, he'll be hard-pressed to find it on the market, never mind from Boston. He'd likely have to sign a deal with a very low base -- say, $4 million a year -- with incentives rising.

If he settled for a one-year deal, he would earn around $8 million, so the $12.5 million option has to be considered a godsend. While anyone would like job security, Ortiz at the very least will get paid over and above his market worth for a one-year deal.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 23, 2010 1:40 am

Ortiz awaits Boston's next move

David Ortiz
David Ortiz wants to stay in Boston, but it's not up to him.

"Sometimes I think I’m part of the family and I’m going to stick around longer," Ortiz told reporters Wednesday after a four-RBI day brought him to 96 on the season. "But I’m not the one who makes that decision. I’m trying to do my job and hopefully they do theirs after the season."

The Red Sox have an option on the designated hitter for next season at $12.5 million, the same salary they've paid him the past four years on what has turned out to be a bargain contract. Often a team in Boston's position will attempt to buy out the option year at a lower salary in exchange for extending the player with a new contract, but Ortiz doesn't sound inclined to make such a deal.

"Should I? Would you take a pay cut from your job?" Ortiz said. "We’ll see. We’ll see how things go. I took a pay cut already, I’ll tell you that. Five years ago."

It seems like Boston's best move would be to simply pick up the option and then take the chance that if the Red Sox want to keep Ortiz, he'll be cheaper after next season considering he'll enter 2012 at age 36. If he produces next year at a rate close to this year -- his average (.259) isn't impressive, but his RBI, home run and OPS numbers are on track to be his best since 2007 -- another year at $12.5 million is a decent deal.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 10, 2010 10:50 am

Power will be priority for A's

Coco Crisp
How many times have we heard that a team is "a bat or two away" from contending? The A's think they really are, and finding players with power will be their top priority this winter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The A's have by far the best ERA in the American League (3.55) and are a little below average in batting for average and getting on base (ninth in both). Where they fall clearly short is power. No team in baseball has hit fewer home runs, and they are second-worst in slugging percentage. Their top home run hitter, Kevin Kouzmanoff, has just 14. Their starters at first base, third base and designated hitter have combined for 32. No matter how well they pitch, that's not going to cut it.

"The game is changing. There aren't guys who can hit 50 homers, but you still have to have two guys in the lineup who are threats to hit the ball out of the ballpark," second baseman Mark Ellis said. "That would make everyone else better, too. But they're not easy to find."

General manager Billy Beane says he'll be looking, and Beane will have a little money to work with as $22 million comes off the books with Ben Sheets and Eric Chavez.

Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Carlos Pena, Jayson Werth and possibly David Ortiz (who has a club option) will be among the power hitters available this winter.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: September 7, 2010 9:48 am
Edited on: September 7, 2010 10:49 am

Red Sox will pick up Ortiz's option

David Ortiz The Red Sox are planning on picking up David Ortiz's extension for 2011, Gorden Edes of ESPNBoston.com writes , citing "a major-league source well acquainted with the Sox's thinking."

Edes adds Ortiz would prefer an extension, but the Red Sox aren't that enamored with Big Papi.

The Red Sox will pay $12.5 million for Ortiz in 2011. He has 28 home runs and is hitting .262/.365/.528 after a brutal start to the season. In April, Ortiz hit .143/.238/.286 with one home run and four RBI. Since then, he's hit .279/.382/.563 with 27 home runs. Ortiz is ninth in the American League in OPS and leads all but Luke Scott in that category among designated hitters.

Ortiz said he hasn't heard from the Red Sox. When Edes asked him what Boston was waiting for. "No idea," he said. "I would like to know."

Ortiz added that he wants to return to the Red Sox as well, "but it doesn't depend on me anymore, you know?"

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 24, 2010 4:24 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:56 am

Damon: 'I'm not going'

Johnny Damon Johnny Damon will stay in Detroit, he told reporters.

"I'm not going," Damon said Tuesday, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck on Twitter .

Damon was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox on Monday and had until Wednesday to approve a deal.

He was scheduled to meet with Detroit management on Tuesday about his future with the team. Damon, a free agent after the season, said he'd like to return to the Tigers next season.

Damon seemed rankled by Boston fans, who taunted him after he left as a free agent to join the Yankees. His former teammate, David Ortiz, reportedly called Damon to try to convince him to return to the Red Sox.

UPDATE: Tom Gage of the Detroit News has more from Damon:
"My teammates want me here and they think we can make a strong push to make this Central race interesting. That's why I'm going to stay.

"The tough thing is that there are no guarantees where I will be next year," he said. "As much as I would love to be back here next year, that's something the team doesn't really decide until the off-season.

"I'm OK with that. I know that going to Boston possible could have helped out my free agency for next year, but so be it." 

The Tigers are 10 games behind the Twins in the American League Central with 37 games remaining.

UPDATE: Red Sox players expressed disappointment, but understanding at the news.

From the Providence Journal :

"Playing with Johnny, the way he plays the game and the way he goes about his business, would have been a welcome visit to have him back here," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, one of only a handful of players left who overlapped with Damon in Boston. "He would have been a big addition to our team with what he can do."

Said designated hitter David Ortiz, "I was hoping he would come, but it was something that neither you or I could decide. He's the one that had to decide what to do for his own and do whatever he wanted to do."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com