He said it several times during the regular season. Now he has said it again to WEEI.com: David Ortiz wants a multiyear deal from the Red Sox.
“I just want to cut out all the crap and go back to the guy I was before, a happy guy who doesn’t have to be answering questions that have nothing to do with anything but controversy. I just want to be able to play baseball and have fun, like I used to,” Ortiz said. “That’s where I came back to not wanting just one year, because I know it’s going to be just the same thing.
“As soon as you struggle for a week, it’s going to be the same thing. People saying you are old, saying you have no bat speed anymore. People talking all kind of crap. It’s hard to avoid that because it’s all over the place. You’re a regular human being just like everyone else. It’s not like you’re in a cage, locked up and you come to the field and that’s it. It’s not like we don’t watch TV, listen to the radio, read the newspaper. We are all connected to that stuff, especially here.”
I’m all for players getting whatever they can and David has every right to ask for a multi-year deal. But he agreed to a contract that includes a team option for 2011 that would pay him $12.5 million. Once he agreed to that, the Red Sox have the right to pick that up and he shouldn’t have much to say about it.
If Boston is too tough a place to play on a one-year contract, then don’t agree to that clause in the contract in the first place.
If the Red Sox want to tear that up and give him two years for $6.25 million or three years for $4.16 million a year, that’s up to them.
Frankly, Ortiz should celebrate if the Red Sox pick up that option because it’s more than he would get on the open market. Designated hitters simply aren’t getting multiyear deals in the current baseball economy.
Vlad Guerrero, Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon all got one year last winter and none came close to $10 million. Yes, Ortiz had a good season and he deserves to come back. But given the state of free agency, he’s in no position to expect the Red Sox to act irresponsibly.
The thing to remember with all these comments — and we’ll see them all winter — is that it’s just negotiating. You hear all sorts of things before everybody shakes hands and pretends they’re happy.
In the end, Ortiz and the Red Sox will figure out a way for him to stay on the team. Both sides need each other. As Extra Bases reported on Tuesday, the sides will sit down next week and start talks.