David Ortiz Considers New York Yankees: 5 Reasons Why It's a Good Fit
As if Boston Red Sox fans didn't have enough to stress about after their team had an epic collapse in September to miss the postseason, they were delivered another crushing blow on Wednesday morning.
David Ortiz, the Red Sox's designated hitter, told ESPN that he would consider going to the New York Yankees if the Yankees offered him the right opportunity. He hasn't made any decisions yet, so Red Sox fans don't have to panic immediately, but they shouldn't be totally surprised by a possible jump, either.
As Ortiz explained to Colleen Dominiguez of ESPN about whether or not he would cross enemy lines, "That's something I gotta think about. I've been here on the Red Sox for a long time, and I've seen how everything goes down between these two ballclubs."
He went on to praise the Yankees organization, saying, "It's great from what I hear. It's a good situation to be involved in. Who doesn't want to be involved in a great situation where everything goes the right way?"
Sure, Big Papi is getting older and has struggled with injuries and health issues in recent years. But as crazy as it sounds, him joining the Yankees could actually work.
Here are five reasons why.
1. He Could Be a Consistent DH
Jorge Posada, who served as the Yankees' designated hitter this season, may not be back for 2012. There is still rampant speculation that he is going to retire, though he has not yet made a decision.
While prospect Jesus Montero did serve as DH at points during his callup, he could end up as a backup catcher in 2012 should New York decide to bring back Russell Martin.
If Montero ends up as a catcher, he will not be able to DH on the days he is behind the plate. This is where Ortiz comes in. Joe Girardi won't have to worry about giving him time in the field, so he could be relied on in days where Montero and other players who have served as DH are on defense.
2. He Has Room to Get Better
Yes, Ortiz is going to be 36 years old in November. I get it, I really do.
But even though his home run output and RBI numbers went down in 2011, one area where he stayed strong was his batting average.
Ortiz improved his average for the second year in a row. After hitting .270 in 2010, up from .238 in 2009, he posted a .309 average in 2011.
He also improved in OBP with a .938 and OPS, with a .953.
Age hasn't entirely slowed down Big Papi.
3. He Can Still Hit
As I mentioned in the last slide, Ortiz's home run and RBI totals dropped from 2010. In 2011, he had 96 RBI and 29 HRs for 84 runs.
However, even with the decrease, he still has at least 90 RBI and 25 home runs in four out of his last five seasons. The only time he missed the mark recently was in 2008, when he was limited to 109 games.
Ortiz can still produce consistently, and fans shouldn't write him off just because of his age.
4. He's a Winner...and He Wants to Keep Winning
If Ortiz indeed chooses to go to New York, the Yankees will not be getting a guy who just wants to rest on his big paycheck (because come on, this is New York, and they won't skimp on Ortiz).
Ortiz is a two-time World Series winner with the Red Sox (2004 and 2007) and is a seven-time MLB All-Star, winning one Home Run Derby. He also has four Silver Slugger Awards.
In the earlier mentioned ESPN article, Ortiz said, "I just want to play baseball. I'm a winner, I play to win, I want to make good things go on around me."
He is already committed to the Yankees' ambitions of World Series or bust, and that is another good reason why a potential deal will work out for the best.
5. It Worked for Johnny Damon
In 2006, Johnny Damon, who won the 2004 World Series with Ortiz in Boston, donned the Yankees pinstripes after spending four seasons with the Red Sox.
Like Big Papi, Damon was in his 30s at the time of his first season in New York. Although his batting average took a hit in 2006 and 2007, he got it back up to .303 back in 2008 and hit 17 home runs and 71 RBI.
In 2009, he hit 82 RBI and 24 home runs in the regular season. Then, in the postseason, he hit .281 with nine RBI and two home runs and was a World Series champion once again.
While I'm not going to go into a full analysis and comparison of Ortiz's and Damon's careers, think about it. Wouldn't it be something if Ortiz could lift a World Series championship with the Yankees in 2012 after establishing himself and getting off to a solid start in New York?
Sure, he might struggle. Damon did too, but in the end, all that matters to the Yankees is how many rings and trophies you have.
If Ortiz could make the same leap his former teammate did and do well, the Yankees fans will love him for it, regardless of what uniform he used to wear.