Red Sox want to re-build with new manager and contract for Ortiz
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 00:10
Following one of their worst seasons in decades, the Boston Red Sox and general manager Ben Cherington have wasted no time in their attempts to put 2012 fully in the books. Manager Bobby Valentine was let go almost immediately after the season ended and the candidates to replace him are reportedly in abundance. But for now, things on the field appear to be a lot simpler.
According to an ESPN source, talks between the team and designated hitter David Ortiz will begin next week to keep the free agent in Boston. The 36-year old Dominican missed all but one of the Red Sox final 72 games due to an Achilles strain, which shouldn’t hamper him in the off-season. He hit .318 with 23 homers and 60 runs batted in 90 games this past summer.
Last winter, Ortiz signed a 1-year, $14.58 million contract on the day he was due for an arbitration hearing. The designated hitter has pined for a long-term deal for the past few seasons but a true opportunity had not arisen until now. The Red Sox plan to re-construct a roster that failed miserably to fulfill mediocre expectations and was largely let go mid-season.
With the trades of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis and others, Boston freed up hundreds of millions of dollars to make transactions this off-season. In addition to Oritz, one of the team’s first moves will be an attempt to negotiate with outfielder Cody Ross, who also signed a one-year pact last winter.
However, bolstering a simply horrible pitching staff figures to be the franchise’s No. 1 aim in the coming months. Red Sox hurlers finished 27th out of 30 teams in ERA and quality starts and 24th in opponents’ batting average.
The Red Sox will open their 2013 campaign on April 1st with a three-game set at the New York Yankees.