After all the drama about his potential arbitration case David Ortiz and the Red Sox have avoided today’s scheduled hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $14.575 million contract at the last minute.
Ortiz filed for $16.5 million and the Red Sox submitted at $12.65 million, so the two sides settle at the exact midpoint. And at least they provided the Boston media with a story to write about for the past month.
By settling for $14.575 million rather than risking a potential $16.5 million decision the Red Sox may have created a bit more payroll flexibility. As for Ortiz, he gets a $2.075 million bump in salary following a season in which he hit .309 with 29 homers and a .953 OPS that’s his highest since 2007.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com the settlement came when general manager Ben Cherington and agent Fernando Cuza negotiated in the hotel lobby where the hearing was to be held this afternoon.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.
Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.
Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.
Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.