Jonathan Papelbon has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with the Phillies. Could David Ortiz be the next to leave Boston?
Don’t count on it. Based on what Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters (via WEEI.com) following a press conference for managerial candidate Torey Lovullo earlier today, there’s still plenty of optimism about re-signing him.
“We have had a lot of dialogue with David and his agents,” Cherington said. “Because of what I feel, and I think he feels, is a little bit more of a defined market for that role it’s been easier to engage sooner. It’s probably less likely to be a situation where he gets into the market and there’s something that he’s pushed into a corner on. David knows we want him to be here. We want him to be back with the Red Sox. We want him in our lineup. We’ve had a lot of dialogue to see if there’s a way to do that and I think that will continue.”
There was some silly stuff late last month about Ortiz potentially having National League suitors, but most sane people agree he will almost certainly continue his career as a designated hitter in the American League. And that severely limits the market for Ortiz, who turns 36 years old next week, by the way. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com wrote this morning that the Red Sox want to determine whether they can re-sign Ortiz before perhaps turning to Carlos Beltran or Michael Cuddyer, so we can probably expect a quick resolution here.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.