Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz will remain with the American League East club for at least two more seasons after signing a two-year contract extension worth $26 million with the baseball club on Nov. 5.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said signing the 37-year-old was one of the top priorities during the off-season because he’s performed at an incredible level for the team for the past 10 seasons and he’s an excellent leader on and off the field.
Ortiz said he wants to thank the franchise for re-signing him and will do all he can to help them return to the World Series. He said that he’s always in playing shape and his only goal is to make sure the team wins as many games as possible.
The Red Sox signed him originally after he was released by the Minnesota Twins following the 2002 season. Boston signed him to a one-year contract at that time and Ortiz quickly proved it was a good move as he was a candidate for the MVP that season. He’s been with the Red Sox ever since and said he hopes to retire with the team when his playing days are finally over.
Cherington was glad to hear that and said he wants to see Ortiz play out the remainder of his career in Boston, but hopes he’s still a few years away from retiring. When his current contract runs out Ortiz will be the ripe old age of 39, but he said he isn’t ruling out playing more than two more years. He said he’ll see how things work out over the next two years and will then go from there. He added that he feels great at the moment and his body is still responding well to his wishes.
Ortiz, who hails from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, will have played 17 years in the Major Leagues when the contract runs out, but reiterated that he’s not going to make any rash decisions or predictions right now concerning his future.
Unfortunately, he suffered an injury to his right Achilles this July, but still proved to be one of the game’s best hitters this season by slugging 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in just 90 games. He had 103 hits and a batting average of .318 along with a .611 slugging percentage.
This contract was welcomed by the left-handed slugger since he didn’t re-sign with the Red Sox last season until shortly before he was to attend an arbitration meeting with the club in February. Ortiz said the negotiations this time around were quite easy as the team made it clear that it wanted him back in the line up.
Ortiz has played the last two season on one-year contracts. In 10 seasons with the Red Sox, Ortiz has belted 343 home runs along with 1,088 RBIs and has a batting average of .290. He also helped the club win the World Series in 2004 and 2007.