Ortiz decision drawing closer

DALLAS — David Ortiz is prepared to accept arbitration from the Red Sox before the midnight deadline, a decision that would bind him to the team for 2012.

Agent Fern Cuza expressed little hope of the sides striking a two-year deal tonight.

But Sean McAdam of Comcast is reporting that the Red Sox have raised their initial offer for a two-year deal from $18 million to $20 million. That is short of the $25 million Ortiz is reportedly seeking.

The Sox would be agreeable to a two-year deal at a lower average annual value because it would create some payroll room for 2012. If Ortiz takes a one-year deal, it could be worth $14-15 million.

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