The Boston Red Sox are having a rough few months, and it might only be getting rougher. The Sox and general manager Theo Epstein have some decisions to make regarding some of the veteran pieces on the team’s roster.
Aside from Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek and Adrian Beltre, the big name the Sox have to make a decision on is David Ortiz.
Big Papi, arguably the most popular player in Boston over the past eight years, may not be in Beantown next year. The Red Sox hold a $12.5 million option on Ortiz for 2011, which they are likely to decline. Apparently Ortiz wants a long-term deal, despite the fact that he’s going to be 35 on November 18th and has had painfully slow starts to the past two seasons.
If the Red Sox sign Ortiz to a big deal it could hurt their chances at pursuing Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder when they come on the market after the 2011 season.
Ortiz finished the 2010 season hitting .270 with 32 home runs and 102 RBI. But he’s nothing more than a designated hitter, hit just .222 against lefties this year, and he is clearly on the downside of his career.
With Beltre, Martinez and Lowell likely on their way out and Varitek not likely to be signed as an everyday player, the Red Sox may be looking at a complete overhaul. If that is the case, there is no reason for them to hand tons of cash to Ortiz.
As of now, we’d bet Ortiz is somewhere else next season.