The Boston Red Sox have a very interesting discussion around the corner that involves whether or not they should sign their designated hitter David Ortiz to a contract extension. It still makes me wonder if this is going to happen, considering pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about a month.
Ortiz is in his final year of his contract, and he has expressed a genuine interest in ending his career in a Boston uniform. The Red Sox feel exactly the same way. Up until last season, I wasn’t sure if that was necessarily going to happen. It appeared as though Ortiz was beginning to show his age. After the way Ortiz played — especially in October — one would think it would be very surprising if he didn’t end his career as a member of the Red Sox. Boston has become Ortiz’s team, and he has developed into a true leader. He also is playing like he turned back time and certainly isn’t performing like a 38-year-old. He even looked more mobile on the base-paths last year than he has in a long time.
Quite simply, Ortiz may be one of the best designated hitters ever outside of perhaps Edgar Martinez. He has also cemented his status as an incredible clutch postseason hitter. It was to the point in the Boston lineup where he seemed like he was the only bat who was hitting with any consistency at all in the ALCS and World Series. Take him out and Boston probably doesn’t even win the Division Series.
Power hitters usually fade away quickly, but Ortiz has not shown any signs of that happening. He fits into Boston’s fiscal model, and he is the heart and soul of the lineup and the team. Obviously a long-term contract would be out of the question, but an extension makes a lot of sense on every level. Hopefully this will get done before the season starts. It is quite possible you are looking at a future Hall of Famer. A part of me is still concerned, however, that this hasn’t happened already.