EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

March 24, 2014

Ortiz’s new deal gives him good chance to retire a Red Sox

The Dominican Republic remains home for David Ortiz but Boston surely comes in a close second in his heart. He loves this city in the same way as someone born and raised in Southie.

“This is our (bleeping) city,” he shouted into a microphone at Fenway Park in a speech before the Boston Red Sox’ first home game after the Boston Marathon Bombings last April.

Ortiz wasn’t born here but his career was. He received his chance to become a middle-of-the-lineup hitter at age 27 here after the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins never gave him the same opportunity. And Ortiz always has wanted to end his career with the Red Sox, even during times when he felt slighted over his contract and expressed his irk publicly.

Ortiz will receive his chance to stay here until retirement. He reportedly has agreed to a contact extension. ESPNBoston.com was the first to report the news.

Ortiz will make the $15 million he already was due this year. The extension gives him an additional guaranteed one year, $16 million for the 2015 season. It also includes vesting options for both 2016 and 2017, according to the ESPN report.

Vesting options in baseball must be exercised if a player reaches a certain number of plate appearances, games played or games finished the previous year. Thus, Ortiz could be with Boston during his age 41 season if he reaches the milestones in the language of this contract.

The extension seems like a nice reward for a designated hitter who has made four consecutive American League All-Star teams and batted .688 (11 for 16) with a .760 on-base percentage and 1.188 slugging percentage in the World Series last fall.

It also seems pretty reasonable considering the vesting options give him incentive to stay in shape and play at a high level into his 40s and give the Red Sox insurance if the slugger does suffer a career-ending injury during the next two seasons.

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