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Report: Sox ink Ortiz

The Red Sox have signed David Ortiz to a multi-year contract extension and the team is expected to announce the signing at 4 p.m. today, Boston radio station WEEI 850 AM is reporting. In this morning's edition, the Globe reported that a deal may be close.

General manager Theo Epstein, who has made no secret of wanting to retain Ortiz at the right price, declined comment, citing an agreement he made with Fernando Cuza, Ortiz's agent, to keep the talks private. Ortiz said he made clear to Cuza that he wants to stay in Boston and that he did not want to worry about negotiations during the season.

"I said, 'Don't let me know anything unless they're ready to sign me,' " Ortiz said. "Otherwise, I don't want to know. So they might come down tonight and say, `Here, we've got something for you.' I don't know."

The bottom line, said Ortiz, is "I want to stick around. I like it here."

The Sox like his production as well. Ortiz ranks among the league leaders in home runs (10), RBIs (31), extra-base hits (26), total bases (88), slugging percentage (.550), doubles (16), and home run ratio (one every 16 at-bats). He has indicated he would like to improve his batting average (.263) and reduce his strikeouts (41).

The Sox and Ortiz, who finished fifth last year in the MVP balloting, agreed to a one-year, $4.6 million contract in February to avoid salary arbitration. Ortiz had sought $5 million and the Sox had offered $4.2 million. 

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