Cherington hints at progress with Ortiz

Ben Cherington hinted tonight that that Red Sox are getting closer to a deal with free agent DH David Ortiz.

“I prefer not to comment on offers,” he said. “We have had a lot of dialogue with David and his agent. … David knows we want him to be here, we want him to be back with the Red Sox and we want him in our lineup. We’ve had a lot of dialogue to see if there’s a way to do that and I think that’ll continue.”

As Cherington pointed out on Wednesday, there is less of a market for Ortiz than there was for Jonathan Papelbon. Few options means more willingness to work with the the Sox.

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As for the never-ending negotiations with the Cubs, Cherington said he and Theo Epstein have tabled their talks until the GM Meetings next week in Milwaukee.

Kudos to Cherington, by the way, for being so accessible to reporters and honest about what is going on. He has met with the beat writers after each of the managerial interviews and answered every question thrown his way.

As the Red Sox go through their offseason of transition, that’s good to see.