David Ortiz: Ben Cherington took a bit of a gamble when he re-signed the 37-year-old Ortiz to a two-year deal after the Red Sox DH missed 71 of the last 72 games of 2012 with an Achilles’ injury that started out diagnosed as a “day-to-day” issue. And now the the seven-time All-Star is on the disabled list to start the season, with Jonny Gomes getting the bulk of the playing time as the DH. Ortiz played in only 90 games in 2012, batting .318/.415/.611. A healthy Ortiz will be a key to the Red Sox’ viability in 2013.
Travis Hafner: The Yankees signed free agent Travis Hafner as their full time DH on Feb. 1, essentially filling the role slated for Raul Ibanez last season. The 35-year-old Hafner batted .228 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs in 64 games for the Indians last season and has struggled against lefthanded pitching. The 11-year veteran has been limited to an average of 86 games per season over the past five seasons. Eduardo Nunez could also get some at-bats at DH. In 89 at-bats for the Yankees last season, the young but defensively-challenged shortstop batted .292/.330/.393 with one home run and 11 RBIs.
The edge: Red Sox. Got to go with Big Papi, America’s DH.