This much, David Ortiz justifiably considers obvious, that the Boston Red Sox should give him a two-year contract extension and finally show the same regard for the players who have fought the good fight here that they do for their high-priced imports. He has given them a full decade of elite performance, and by now they should recognize that while his performance could show slippage as he heads into his twilight years, he has offered no evidence that any decline is imminent. On the contrary, he was having his best season statistically since 2006 when he strained his right Achilles tendon, causing him to miss 71 of the last 72 games of the season. He posted a .318/.415/.611/1.026 batting line, and was on pace to hit 36 home runs. And in a season in which so much else went wrong, he was one of the few players whose popularity did not take a hit. For not much more than what the Red Sox paid to make Edgar Renteria go away, the Sox could re-sign Ortiz to two more years. At worst, the second year would be akin to a golden parachute companies give their most prized employees. At best, the Sox would have a dynamic middle-of-the-order bat in their lineup and a presence who still carries tremendous weight in the Sox clubhouse. Just ask rookie Jose Iglesias, whom Ortiz has invited to spend time in the Dominican Republic with him to work on his hitting. Or Will Middlebrooks, who marvels at how generous Ortiz is with his time and advice, saying that Big Papi has told him to call him anytime this winter, about baseball or anything else. On a team that needs an extreme makeover, Ortiz still remains a foundational piece. He has not been playing for chump change, mind you, but there comes a time when a player should be accorded something extra, especially in a year that the Red Sox acknowledged that they made failed investments in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Ortiz's agent, Fernando Cuza, was in town Monday, and while he probably exchanged niceties with Sox general manager Ben Cherington, who was also here, serious negotiations evidently will await at the end of the season.
Sox need Big Papi more than ever
ESPN | Oct 2