Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has not appeared in a Grapefruit League game yet this spring because of lingering concerns about the strength of his right Achilles’ tendon. But things are looking up.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Ortiz ran the bases Tuesday afternoon in Red Sox camp for a second consecutive day. Abraham says Ortiz did the running with “less duration and intensity” than his Monday workout, but the 37-year-old reported feeling fine during and after, and is on track to begin playing in spring games within the next week or so.
Ortiz appeared in just one game after July 16 last season because of the right heel discomfort, but he still managed to hit .318/.415/.611 with 23 home runs and 60 RBI. He underwent platelet-rich plasma treatment for the injury in September.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.