The way Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington sees it, the offseason is like a mosaic in which individual pieces are put together to form a larger, more elaborate image.

And Cherington never imagined the 2013 Red Sox without David Ortiz.

"We're trying to build something," Cherington said, "and we want David to be part of it."

And so, the Red Sox made official yesterday what had been known for days, even months. Ortiz will avoid free agency and stay with the franchise with which he has become an icon over the past decade. Details of the designated hitter's two-year, $26 million contract include a $1 million signing bonus, a $14 million salary next year, an $11 million salary in 2014, and enough health-related incentives for the second season to potentially raise the overall value to $30 million.

"I don't think there was any doubt," Ortiz said of whether he'd return with his coveted multiyear deal in tow. "Our negotiations this year were easier than ever. They knew what I was looking for. It wasn't even a going-back-and-forth type of situation. It was pretty much 'this is it,' and I agreed with it."