UPDATE: David Ortiz accepts Boston’s arbitration offer


9:05 p.m. EST update: According to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, Ortiz has officially accepted the arbitration offer.

CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam reports that the Red Sox have improved on their two-year, $18 million offer to Ortiz, but that the proposal still falls a bit short of $20 million. Now that Ortiz has accepted the arbitration offer, he is a signed player, though the Red Sox will have months to negotiate a one-year or multiyear deal with him before a hearing in February.


Confirming some of Tuesday’s reports, Jon Heyman states that free agent David Ortiz is taking Boston up on its offer of arbitration, making him a signed player.

After hitting .309/.398/.554 with 29 homers and 96 RBI in 2011, Ortiz would seem to be in a great position to command a raise from last year’s $12.5 million salary, which is troubling for a Red Sox team that would prefer to avoid paying the luxury tax next year. However, it’s still possible that the two sides will work out a multiyear deal that would be more favorable to Boston. Ortiz is reportedly asking for $25 million for two years.

Ortiz’s return probably takes Boston out of the mix for Josh Willingham. The Red Sox may sign a right fielder if one falls into their laps, but pitching in the bigger priority at the moment.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.