David Ortiz wants to return for his 10th season with the Red Sox in 2012, the slugger tells MLB.com's Mark Newman. Ortiz has consistently said he'd like to keep playing in Boston when asked about his pending free agency, but last week said there was "too much drama" around the club and “I don't know if I want to be part of this drama for next year," while also noting the calmer state of the Yankees' organization.
Today, however, Ortiz reiterated that Boston is still his top choice and his mention of the Yankees was respectful praise, not a hint to his free agent plans.
"Of course I would like to come back," Ortiz said. "We have a lot of things going on right now, so once they go through all this stuff -- GM and manager things -- I think they're going to start talking to the players. We'll see. We've got time."
"I never said I would sign with the Yankees. No, don't be making [stuff] up," Ortiz said. "They asked me if I would play for the Yankees, and I said I would think about it. But I didn't confirm to nobody that I would play for the Yankees. I'm still a Red Sox, aren't I?"
It's hard to see where Ortiz would fit as a full-time player in the New York lineup, so there are practical reasons standing in the way of a possible move for Ortiz to that particular team. It's very possible Ortiz was just venting last week in the wake of the Red Sox' September collapse and all of the controversy that has since has erupted amongst players and management. Ortiz earned $12.5MM last season when Boston exercised its team option on the slugger for 2011 and he projects as a Type A free agent this offseason.