The gap between what David Ortiz wants and what the Red Sox have offered could close fast and furious in the coming hours and days. But for now, it's "not very close," according to a major league source.
The words "progress" and "closing in" have been reported in the early stages of talks, but unless things happen quickly Ortiz could be out there in free-agency.
The Red Sox still appear to be the best bet for the 36-year-old DH who is seeking a two-year deal somewhere close to the $14.75 million per year he made in 2012, but could settle for less for the same number of years.
The Red Sox are expected to make a qualifying offer ($13.3 million) in order to assure they would receive a draft pick if Ortiz became a free agent and signed elsewhere.
Teams can make qualifying offers of $13.3 million to their free agents by 5 p.m. Friday EST. Players then have until 5 p.m. EST Nov. 9 to make a decision. If the player accepts, he's under contract for 2013. If he declines, he's a free-agent, but his old team would get a supplemental draft pick at the end of the first round.