David Ortiz in a Yankees Uniform? Expect the Unexpected
Slugger David Ortiz just wants another multi-year contract. It seems like a formality that he’ll get it from the Boston Red Sox, right?
Surprisingly not really.
Does that mean it won’t happen?
But don’t be surprised and shocked if Ortiz carries out his words and bolts the great city of Boston at the end of 2014 if the organization doesn’t grant his wish.
Ortiz – the man who brought magic back to the city of Boston – the man whose clutch moments lifted the Red Sox out of the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004 – the guy who saved the Boston franchise – recently said he would consider leaving the organization that he’ll always be remembered for if he doesn’t get a new multi-year contract.
In an interview with WBX-TV’s Sports Final that aired locally on Sunday evening, the 38-year-old expressed his desire to retire with Boston, but said if he doesn’t receive the contract he wants, then it may be “time to move on.”
“I always keep on telling people, this is a business. Sometimes you’ve got to do what’s best for you and your family,” Ortiz said, via the Boston Globe. “As long as they keep offering me a job and I keep doing what I’m supposed to do and the relationship keeps on building up, I’m going to be there. Hopefully, I won’t have to go and wear another uniform.”
Let’s breakdown Ortiz’s accomplishments as he’s entering his 18th season in the big leagues. While everyone knows “Big Papi” as a Red Sox, he started and played his first six years with the Minnesota Twins.
But his magical moments are in Boston where he’s appeared in nine All-Star Games, and has finished in the top five in MVP voting five times, without winning it. He’s also accumulated six Silver Slugger awards and of course three big World Series titles.
He’s the fan favorite in Boston, so it would be devastating for the majority, if not, all of Red Sox Nation if he departed to another team. However, it would be twice the devastation if he signed with the “Evil Empire” New York Yankees.
I Tweeted on Wednesday that if Ortiz were to leave the Red Sox, it’s certainly possible he would go to the Yankees. Now this doesn’t come from any inside sources, it’s just my speculation considering what’s happened in the recent past.
The Yankees have been willing to spend money, in fact, they’ve almost spent a half billion dollars… yes it was read correctly, a billion, on free-agents this winter. One of them being former Red Sox center-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Who’s not to say the Yankees won’t spend an extra few million dollars to pry Ortiz away from their arched rivals? To stick it in the Red Sox face and their fans. A two-year, $34 million deal would likely do it considering he’s in the final campaign of a two-year, $30 million contract.
The Yankees could use a DH in their lineup. While they improved offensively with the signings of Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Ellsbury, a DH would basically cement their lineup. There is no one better in that department that Ortiz right now.
Ortiz’s accomplishments in this recent postseason were absurd! In a good way! He batted .688/.760/.1.188 with two homers and six RBI in six World Series games. While he batted .091/.200/.227 in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, his one hit changed the entire complexion of the postseason with his eighth inning Grand Slam in Game two that tied the game and the Red Sox eventually won. He also homered twice and batted .385/.556/.923 in the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Yes he suffered through Achilles issues that limited him to 90 games in 2012 and forced him to miss the first part of 2013, but he’s healthy and he’s ready to go once again in 2014.
It seems crazy to think and wrap your head around the possibility of Ortiz leaving Boston and signing with the Yankees. But trust me, it can happen. Ultimately it’s a business, especially with a guy like Ortiz who is still productive enough to play at a high level. He doesn’t want to hang it up yet.
Sometimes organizations assume an aging player wants to ride off in the sunset before potentially leaving the team and continuing their career. While some do, others still want to play. Ortiz has made it clear he wants to play and will leave if that’s what it comes down to in the end.
“I’m feeling good,” he said, via the Boston Globe when asked about how much longer he wants to play. “This is not a career that is forever, but as long as I’m having fun as long as I keep on doing what I’m doing, and as long as I’m healthy, of course, I’m going to keep on giving it a try. It could be two years, it could be three years, it could be 10 years, you never know.”
The fans don’t want to even risk the possibility of Ortiz leaving for the Yankees or another franchise. Nobody wants to see that. But it’s a legitimate possibility if Boston doesn’t step up.
It can and it likely would happen.
It’s your move Boston.
Follow Outside Pitch Sports Network Co-Founder/President Andrew Vigliotti on Twitter for more MLB updates @Andrew_Vig.