It’s almost impossible to find the words to describe how much David Ortiz has meant to The Boston Red Sox since his arrival in 2003. He has been Mr. Clutch, Senor October, an ambassador of The City of Boston itself. He has been an icon and the one constant in a decade that has brought three World Series Championships to the Red Sox.
Despite everything he has done in a Red Sox uniform, I believe that Boston would be best served by not giving Ortiz a contract extension just yet. There are three key reasons that I think Boston should take their time with a new deal.
1) He will be 39 years old at seasons end: I’m 34 and there are days that my knee aches from playing sports as a youth. A 38 year old Ortiz could break down before 2014 comes to an end. Why would the team risk extending the contract of someone who could be an injury risk?
2) It’s a contract year: If you are worried that Big Papi might show displeasure with not getting an extension before the season starts, remember that it’s a contract year. Most players give a little extra to show their value before potentially hitting the free agent market. If he preforms as expected, he would probably take a one year deal with Boston for around 12-15 million.
3) There will be quality bats in the 2015 free agent market: Mike Napoli is under contract for two years. Finding another first baseman and sliding Napoli to the DH spot would seamless. If Seattle’s Corey Hart looks healthy enough in 2014, he and Napoli could almost take turns between first and DH. Pablo Sandoval will likely be a free agent as well. I think he could provide 30 home runs a year at Fenway Park as a designated hitter.
Do you think signing David Ortiz to a contract extension before the season starts is critical? Do you believe Boston should wait to see how Big Papi fares in 2014? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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