Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says talks with David Ortiz are “ongoing”

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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.