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Red Sox: Will David Ortiz Earn His New Contract with the Boston Red Sox?

Sean DelorgeCorrespondent IIINovember 12, 2012

The Boston Red Sox re-signed David Ortiz to a two-year, $26 million contract with $4 million in incentives if he doesn’t miss significant time due to the Achilles injury.

However, while most fans are happy that Ortiz is returning, the majority of them are questioning the second year of the contract.

Last season, Ortiz was on pace to have his best season since 2007 until he got hurt.

The biggest question coming into next year will be whether Ortiz can stay healthy and avoid re-injuring the Achilles.

At 37 years old, Ortiz will try to buck the trend and prove that he can still be a productive middle-of-the-order slugger.

Eric Wilbur of the Boston Globe likes the signing, saying:

From a baseball standpoint, he makes sense. Despite going down with an Achilles' heel injury last season, and despite whatever Bobby Valentine might have thought about the designated hitter's commitment to his team, as if he were Randall "Pink" Floyd and had to sign a pledge sheet, Ortiz remained one of baseball's most feared lefthanded hitters, and a necessary component if the Red Sox have any distant hope of competing in 2013.

History shows this is a daunting task, as recent players such as Jeff Bagwell and Mark McGwire both saw their games slip when they turned 37, and neither played at age 38.

Ortiz has the luxury of being a designated hitter and avoids the minimal wear and tear caused by playing first base.

However, now that he has received a two-year deal (versus playing for a contract like he was the past two seasons) will Ortiz be as motivated to produce? Time will tell.

One player who beat the odds was former DH Edgar Martinez.

Martinez, who didn’t showcase the same power as Ortiz, was able to be productive until he was 40 years old.

Ortiz is conscious of his image and will be determined to prove naysayers wrong by living up to the contract.

However, even though I am not worried about Ortiz’s desire to succeed, injuries are more likely to occur and recovery is much slower at 37 years old

Luck will play a major role in whether the Dominican slugger lives up to the contract.

On the field, Ortiz may struggle to live up to the two-year deal. But off the field, the signing is a win-win.

Ownership loves Ortiz for his on-field ability in addition to his off-field charisma.

Wilbur also sees Ortiz’s importance off the field, saying:

From a marketing standpoint, he makes sense. Let's not play dumb and ignore the fact that Ortiz remains a chip in that regard, and there's no reason to argue his importance in that role, particularly for a team that has had a faster fall from grace than Scott Brown. The Red Sox need Ortiz on NESN, they need him on the cover of the yearbook, and they need his legacy to remain on the front-burner of the average fan's mind.

That's a big reason why Ortiz finally got his two-deal after recent seasons of playing on a one-year contract. It was Boston's big massage for the fella, assuring he's a happy soldier in this ownership's most pivotal moment. Ortiz is the Red Sox' Space Mountain, their most popular attraction in the amusement park once known as Fenway.

Unfortunately, like most of his career, Ortiz will have to prove people wrong.

This time, if Ortiz succeeds and lives up to his contrac,t he will pad his stats nicely and may finally secure himself a spot in Cooperstown.

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