David Ortiz proved again this season that he is the unquestioned heart and soul of the Boston Red Sox. In leading the team to its third World Series championship since 2004, the 38-year-old designated hitter was clutch throughout the postseason and his personality kept Boston’s locker room loose and fun.
The Red Sox clearly appreciated what the nine-time All-Star brought to the table in 2013, as the two sides have reportedly entered into talks on a contract extension. Ortiz is set to make $15 million in 2014, which will be the final season of a two-year, $26 million deal he signed in November of 2012. The Red Sox apparently want to extend him through the 2015 season.
Ortiz turned 38 last month, but he had a phenomenal 2013 campaign and looks like he has plenty of gas left in the tank. This past season he hit .309 with 30 home runs, 103 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .395 and an OPS of .959. His WAR of 4.4 was by far the highest among designated hitters in baseball.
The man known as “Big Papi” really shined during the playoffs. In 51 postseason at bats, Ortiz hit .353 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. His on-base percentage was a ridiculous .500 and his OPS was an insane 1.206. He was also named World Series MVP.
But Ortiz has always been a phenomenal postseason performer. For his career he has a .295 batting average in the playoffs, to go along with 17 home runs, 60 RBIs and an OPS of .962.
Even if he wasn’t playing up to his full potential, Boston would be foolish to let Ortiz walk, simply because of the public relations hit the team would take if he left. Ortiz clearly loves Boston and probably wants to finish his career with the Red Sox. An extension makes sense for everyone involved, so it’s not surprising both sides are trying to get one hashed out before the 2014 season starts.
We expect it to get done before spring training.