David Ortiz

Why David Ortiz wants two years. And why he’s wrong about that.

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David Ortiz gave an interview with WEEI, and the big topic, not surprisingly, was his future in Boston. He has a one-year, $12.5 million option. Despite the fact that’s well above the market rate for aging DH’s these days, he wants a two year deal.  Why two years? Here’s why, according to Big Papi:

“I’m not comfortable coming back just for one year because it’s going to be the same roller-coaster that I had this year . . . 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 with anything but controversy . . . 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.”

Like they wouldn’t ask those same questions if he was under a two year deal? Indeed, it would probably be worse, with the “kind of crap” people talking being of the “oh God, we’re stuck with him for 2012 too?” variety.  If he’s under a one year deal and he struggles, at least people might take a slightly more philosophical “well, he’s gone after this year” approach.

The fact is that if Ortiz is expecting things to go back to the way they were in 2004-2007, he’s dreaming. Because fans and the media in Boston may be tough, but they’re not dumb. They know that when players reach a certain age that their skills diminish and eventually disappear. They can’t simply say “no worries, Ortiz will be smacking the ball around like crazy soon enough” because as time goes on that simply won’t be true at some point. It was nice that Ortiz was able to rebound from a slow start this season. But there will come a time when he doesn’t, and he can’t expect people to ignore that possibility.

And one final question: how much does Ortiz expect to be paid over two years? If he wants that $12 million or something close to it for both seasons — and given how confident he sounds in the interview, he likely does — a two-year deal would bring even more scrutiny down on him he’s seen previously. Because that’s just a tremendous amount of scratch to give to a, um, 34 year-old DH.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.