David Ortiz was in attendance at tonight’s Heat-Celtics game and told the Boston Globe that he is confident he will be back with the Red Sox next season.
The Red Sox have until three days after the World Series to decide whether to pick up his $12.5 million option for 2011.
“We’re going to talk next week,” he said.
Ortiz, who turns 35 in November, enjoyed a bounceback year in 2010, batting .270/.370/.529 with 32 homers and 102 RBI. He finished eighth in the league with an .899 OPS and ninth with 82 walks.
$12.5 million isn’t pocket change or anything, but the Red Sox could do a lot worse than bring him back and hope for a repeat with what we can only assume will be a healthier supporting cast. It’s worth noting that Ortiz told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com in September that he wouldn’t be comfortable coming back to Boston on a one-year contract. The two sides will talk, but methinks Red Sox GM Theo Epstein won’t be silly enough to guarantee an aging slugger a multi-year deal.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.