Updates from March 24
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports financial details surrounding David Ortiz's contract extension with the Red Sox:
David Ortiz '16 option vests starting at $11M with 425 plate appearances in '15, graduates to $16M with 600 PAs. #redsox— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 24, 2014
The Boston Red Sox ensured that fan favorite David Ortiz will remain with the team through at least 2015 with a one-year contract extension.
ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes provides the details of the newest deal:
The extension will keep Ortiz under contract with Boston through the 2015 season. An announcement could come as soon as Monday, the source said.
The Red Sox later confirmed the news:
OFFICIAL: #RedSox & David Ortiz agreed today on a 1-yr. extension through 2015 with a club/vesting option for 2016 & a club option for 2017.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) March 24, 2014
WEEI's Rob Bradford reports that the deal is worth $16 million.
Ortiz was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2014 MLB season, but the 38-year-old designated hitter wanted to add to this contract. On Jan. 22, he discussed the situation with Joe Lemire of Sports Illustrated:
We are talking. I don’t think there’s going to be any complication. I just want to get one more year extension. . . . My agents and the front office, they’ve been talking, and I think at some point we are going to get it done.
From the Red Sox's perspective, this was hard to deny after yet another outstanding year from Ortiz that led to great individual and team success. He finished the regular season with a .309 batting average, 30 home runs and 103 RBI.
This was the ninth time in 11 seasons with Boston that he drove in at least 96 runs after never accomplishing this feat in his time with the Minnesota Twins from 1997 to 2002.
As impressive as Ortiz was during the year, he really turned it on in the postseason as he helped the Red Sox win their third World Series title in a decade.
In the World Series, "Big Papi" batted an incredible .688 with two home runs. The rest of the roster only managed a .169 batting average with two more homers. Unsurprisingly, Ortiz took home the World Series MVP award.
According to Numbers Never Lie, this kind of clutch performance on the biggest stage was nothing new for the designated hitter:
David Ortiz has the highest batting average (.455), on-base percentage (.576) and slugging percentage (.795) in World Series history.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) October 31, 2013
With the Red Sox looking to once again compete for a championship, they need Ortiz more than ever. They lost a number of position players to free agency and will need someone to help the new blood on and off the field.
Ortiz has shown that he can still get it done, and his leadership has never been questioned. If he can stay healthy and produce similar results, this contract extension could end up being a steal for Boston.
In reality, though, he is worth any price to keep him around as a face of the organization. This extension ensures that Ortiz will remain in Red Sox colors for at least a couple more seasons.