During a conversation about the Red Sox’ collapse Wednesday with ESPN’s Colleen Dominguez, David Ortiz was asked whether he would be open to joining the rival Yankees this winter as a free agent.
Big Papi’s well-thought-out response to that question:
“That’s something I gotta think about,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been here on the Red Sox a long time, and I’ve seen how everything goes down between these two ballclubs. It’s great [in New York] from what I hear. It’s a good situation to be involved in. Who doesn’t want to be involved in a great situation where everything goes the right way?”
Ortiz just finished up a five-year contract with the Red Sox, so he’s free to sign with any club. But will the Yankees really have interest in bringing the veteran slugger aboard?
Sure, Ortiz might be able to feast on the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium. But his versatility is a real issue, as is his age. The Yankees already need open playing time at DH next season for aging stars like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Then there’s Jesus Montero, who carries defensive concerns at catcher.
Ortiz told ESPN that “there’s too much drama” right now in Boston and that he might not want to be “part of this drama for next year.” But he’s not going to be as highly coveted as he might think.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.