MLB Free Agents 2012: 5 Teams That Should Be Vying for David Ortiz
David Ortiz has a personality even bigger than he is, but can the 35-year-old slugger still play?
My answer is a resounding yes, and he has proven this. He has struggled in the postseason the last couple of seasons, but that happens to the best eventually. (Ask Alex Rodriguez)
Big Papi has been great for a long time and was last season as well. His age certainly wasn't a factor, as he played 146 games and did very well. In those games, he had 162 hits, 29 homers, 96 RBI and batted .309. He's having success in his mid-30s that some players never achieve.
Love him or hate him, the guy hits the ball. His success as a DH makes the Boston Red Sox offense tick. Take Ortiz out of the Red Sox lineup, and it loses a lot of its luster. He forces teams to pitch to him, or run the risk of getting a lot of guys on base. He has had a Barry Bonds effect on the Red Sox to some extent.
There are plenty of teams who need some offensive firepower, these five teams should strongly consider bringing in David Ortiz.
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates turned a lot of heads last season, as they led the National League Central Division briefly approaching the All-Star Break.
While the Pitching finally gained some consistency and held opponents at bay, the Pittsburgh Pirates couldn't hit the baseball. While the team is young and has several players waiting to explode offensively, it didn't happen enough last season.
None of the full-time starters had a batting average of .300 on the season, with Neil Walker leading the way at .273.
The team has a lot of potential all around, and could benefit from David Ortiz more than any other team in baseball. I have them at number five because the team never makes a big signing, but they did make a few more deals than usual last season. If the owners and general manager want to win now, this would be a huge move.
It would also go a long way to show super star center fielder Andrew McCutchen that the team is serious about building a contender. I don't know if he would be willing to play first base full time or not, but it would be worth asking!
His offensive output would make up for any defensive shortcomings if he was willing to play the field again.
Putting him in the Pirates lineup would take pressure of of the young guys, and he would be a fan favorite. This would be another step toward ending the streak of losing this once proud organization has endured for nearly 20 years.
4. Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are another young team that would be ecstatic to sign David Ortiz.They are also willing to spend a lot of money.
I have heard on ESPN that the Blue Jays are interested, so they could make it difficult for the Red Sox to re-sign him. He reportedly wants a longer deal, as opposed to the one-year deal Boston will likely give him.
I find it hard to believe there is a team out there willing to give the 35-year-old a three-year deal, but that might be the only way to get him to leave Boston.
Outfielder Jose Bautista would certainly approve of a deal that would bring another slugger aboard. Bautista has exploded offensively the last two seasons, but numbers like that aren't going to happen every season. Adding Ortiz would solidify an already solid starting lineup.
This could be the type of move that propels this team to the next level, a playoff appearance.
3. New York Yankees
Would anybody be surprised?
I have a hard time believing that the Yankees would give the big man the three year deal that he wants. What I do know is that the Yankees have no problem outbidding everybody to get any player they want. If they decide to go after David Ortiz, money won't be the reason he isn't a Yankee.
Also interesting were a couple of quotes I read about from October, in which Ortiz himself spoke about the possibility of joining the Yankees. “That’s something I gotta think about,” Ortiz said in the televised interview. “I’ve been here on the Red Sox a long time, and I’ve seen how everything goes down between these two ballclubs.”
“It’s great (in New York) 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?” This may be the most telling quote of them all. “There’s too much drama, man, I have been thinking about a lot of things. I don’t know if I want to be part of this drama for next year.”
The door is open, would Ortiz really go from Boston To New York? If he does, look for a lot of Ortiz jerseys to be burned in Boston!
2. Minnesota Twins
I could honestly see David Ortiz fitting in nicely where he started his career.
The Minnesota Twins were a playoff team destroyed by injuries last season. They had a 94-win season, and made their sixth trip to the postseason in nine years in 2010. 16 different players, including four starting pitchers, four relievers and eight position players were put on the disabled list last season. Among those were Justin Morneau, Denard Span and Joe Mauer, three of the teams best players.
If Ortiz was added to this already potent lineup, I have no doubt that they would contend for a division crown at minimum. Even without him, the Twins are going to be a team to reckon with next season. Even if they can swing a two year deal, that might be enough to get the Twins to the World Series. As unlikely as this seems, it would be a great fit for both the team and David Ortiz.
He would add to the team both offensively and in the clubhouse, it would be a fitting place for him to finish a great career.
Right where it all started!
1. Boston Red Sox
David Ortiz has said how much he loves Boston, and he has spent a lot of time there.
After all of his success I highly doubt the Boston Red Sox will let him leave, not without a fight anyway. It doesn't make sense from a team standpoint, and it would anger the fans beyond repair. They should at least match any reasonable offer and explain how much Ortiz means to this franchise.
If he feels disrespected by the current offer, at least be willing to negotiate a better deal.
David Ortiz has not only lived up to expectations in Boston, he surpassed them. To let him walk away would be a huge mistake. If you have to overpay him a bit, I think he has earned it and it would pay off in the long run.
You keep the fans happy and they will continue to fill the ball park. You disappoint them long enough and you may end up losing more money than it would have cost to keep Ortiz!
This makes sense and is what I believe will happen, David Ortiz will retire a member of the Boston Red Sox.