MLB Rumors: NL Teams Should Take a Gamble with David Ortiz
“I feel like I can go play first base in the National League” is a quote said by Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz that will begin a month long of MLB Rumors involving his name.
In the past few days, Big Papi hasn’t been shy about sharing his feelings about Beantown. Ortiz – who will be 37 in 2013 – is in last year of his contract this season after he accepted Boston’s arbitration offer this winter. And that arbitration proceeding is what has Papi’s blood boiling, even going as far as saying he was “humiliated” and “embarrassed” about what happened this winter.
Although the veteran is clearly frustrated with organization he has called home for the past ten seasons, it hasn’t translated to his game on the field. David Ortiz is having one of his better years in recent memory. His 1.006 OPS only trails Josh Hamilton in the American League and is fourth in all of baseball.
There aren’t really any American League that come to mind for David Ortiz outside of the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, and we all know that isn’t happening in a million years. But there are a few National League teams that might decide the two-month gamble will be worth it. Granted, Ortiz isn’t Keith Hernandez at first base with the glove, but that bat is good enough make up for his defensive inefficiencies.
The first team that comes to mind that could use Ortiz are the Los Angeles Dodgers. James Loney and Juan Rivera wouldn’t even have good slash-lines if they were middle infielders, let alone first basemen. A middle of the order that contains Ethier-Kemp-Ortiz is scary to think about, especially if Mattingly puts on-base machine AJ Ellis in front of those guys. And the last time the Dodgers went after a disgruntled, defensively inefficient player from the Boston Red Sox it worked out alright.
The other National League team that could use David Ortiz are the Pittsburgh Pirates. Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee are holding down the fort well enough, but they aren’t in the same league as Papi. The emergence of the Pittsburgh Pirates is one of the better stories we have seen in the first half. I’m hoping that it doesn’t fade away like it did last season.
Outside of those two teams, Ortiz doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for anyone else. But given the fact Ortiz has all but said he’s done in Boston, this might be a prime opportunity for the Ben Cherrington to get some return for the aging 1B/DH.
Ortiz has played 325 innings at first base since 2005, which is about six games per season. Ortiz is making nearly $15 million this season, so one could assume he probably has about $7 million left on his deal. If the Red Sox continue to free fall in the AL East, you can all but guarantee the MLB Rumors will be buzzing about Big Papi.