Free agency officially begins on November 3, when teams can now sign players who were not on their 2012 roster. Today is November 1, and David Ortiz is not currently re-signed with the Red Sox. The clock is ticking on this exclusive negotiating window, and it's starting to sound like Ortiz might hit free agency after all. That's what WEEI's Rob Bradford is hearing.

Before you go and hide in your panic room, though, let's think this through. Ortiz might hts free agency, sure, but that's a negotiating tool. So too is Boston's coming qualifying offer of $13.3 million, which will ensure that Boston at least receives a second first-round draft pick as compensation, should Ortiz sign elsewhere. Both sides will be bluffing a bit: Ortiz doesn't necessarily have somewhere else that's obvious to go, where he is going to get that second year that he's craved, and Boston would likely rather have Ortiz than that draft pick. But Ortiz can try to force Boston's hand by threatening to explore the market, while Boston can hope Ortiz gets nervous about losing his leverage in negotiations due to Boston's newly imposed price of a first-round pick for the rights to take Ortiz away.