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Ortiz's deal looking better every day

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 3, 2011 12:59 PM

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When the Red Sox decided to pick up David Ortiz's $12.5 million option on Nov. 4, the concern was that the big slugger would be offended the team didn't grant him the multi-year deal he desired.

Here we are, nearly two months later, and the concern should be whether Ortiz injures himself doing his Happy Dance every morning.

Outside of 31-year-old Adam Dunn, who received four years and $56 million from the White Sox, designated hitters are being kicked to the curb this winter.

Jack Cust ($2.5 million) and Hideki Matsui ($4.25 million) received one-year deals from the Mariners and Athletics, respectively. The unsigned DH types include:

Vlad Guerrero
Manny Ramirez
Jim Thome
Johnny Damon
Jason Giambi
Jose Guillen
Hank Blalock
Andruw Jones
Jeremy Hermida

The Rangers, Twins and Angels could use DHs. But with the market so loaded, they can accord to parcel out one-year offers for short money. The smart play by a GM would be to offer Guerrero and Thome one-year and $5 million and say first-come, first-served.

David told me last month that he was fine with his deal and I got a sense that somebody had explained to him just how fortunate he was to get that option picked up. The Red Sox very easily could have offered him $5 million and used the remaining $7.5 million for other needs.

Even had Ortiz walked, the Red Sox would have had Mike Cameron to slide into that spot, something he probably will do a lot anyway.

In the end, that $12.5 million proved to be a very good deal for Ortiz. By the time players report to spring training, it could look even better.

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