Blue Jays Will Explore Signing David Ortiz

The Blue Jays will discuss the possibility of signing David Ortiz this winter, reports Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star. GM Alex Anthopoulos cautioned that he would be "doing his due diligence" more than anything, but Griffin says he's likely to have preliminary talks with Ortiz's agent once the free agency period begins.

The Jays do have several things working in their favor when it comes to wooing Ortiz to Toronto. The slugger knows manager John Farrell from his four seasons as the Red Sox's pitching coaching, and Ortiz is friends with Jose Bautista. Bautista could also stand in the way of a deal though; Griffin says the front office would like him to remain the highest paid player on the team. He'll earn $14MM in 2012, and Ortiz is likely to seek a raise from the $12.5MM he made in 2011.

Ortiz, 36 next month, hit .309/.398/.554 with 40 doubles and 29 homers this past season. Last week he said that he wants to return to Boston next season, backing off some earlier comments about not wanting to be part of the "drama" surrounding the team. In his introductory press conference, GM Ben Cherington said he has had some initial dialogue with Ortiz about a possible return.



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