Jon Heyman of SI.com writes that the Red Sox “seem pretty confident” that David Ortiz will return on a two-year deal if he doesn’t accept arbitration.
Ortiz, 36, earned $12.5 million this season while batting .309/.398/.554 with 29 home runs, 96 RBI and a .953 OPS over 605 plate appearances. Heyman was recently told by one agent that the veteran slugger could get a one-year deal valued at $16 million if he accepts Boston’s offer of arbitration.
And so, the question Ortiz needs to ask himself is whether he would rather take the higher annual salary on a one-year deal and test the market again next offseason or accept a lesser annual salary (say a little over $10 million per season) on a two-year deal. Considering that aging-DH types are being priced out of the free agent market, the security of the two-year deal looks like the smart move.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.