Big Papi is back
The Red Sox ended all of the suspense with more than 10 hours before tonight’s midnight deadline, revealing that they intend to pick up David Ortiz’s $12.5 million club option.
Considering the market for DH’s, and what Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui signed for last year, the case could clearly be made that Ortiz would have signed for less than $12.5 million if he became a free agent. But it’s a good business move by the Red Sox. Ortiz was not a free agent. By exercising the option, the Red Sox made sure of that, eliminating any chance he can play for another team in 2011.
General manager Theo Epstein was pretty candid in saying that Ortiz’s legacy and impact on the franchise played a role in the club taking on an option that was perhaps a little above market value.
When you look at the numbers Ortiz put up in 2010 — 32 homers, 102 RBIS and an .899 OPS — it looks like he still has something left in the tank. If the Red Sox had declined the option, perhaps they could have gotten him back at a lower rate. But they also would have been forced to negotiate with any other team that might have had interest.
This way, they guarantee that the relationship continues with one of the most impactful players the team has had in recent years.