Ortiz Will Affect Red Sox’s Outfield Plans

The Red Sox lost their closer yesterday, and today GM Ben Cherington told reporters (including Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe) that losing their DH would affect what the team does in right field (Twitter link). If they're able to retain David Ortiz, they're unlikely to chase a big bat for the outfield. Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald provides a quote…

“There’s some interesting guys out there that could factor into our right-field mix,” said Cherington. “A lot of that depends again on David. If David’s here, we’re going to go in a certain direction with the outfield. If he’s not here, it sort of opens it up a little bit. There’s alternatives, both in free agency and in a trade market for guys that can play right field.”

Ortiz, 36 next week, hit .309/.398/.554 with 40 doubles and 29 home runs in 2011, his best output since 2007. Boston's right fielders, on the other hand, hit just .233/.299/.353 as J.D. Drew battled injuries and fill-ins like Josh Reddick, Mike Cameron, and Darnell McDonald struggled. Rick Ankiel and David DeJesus could represent low-cost right field solutions, though that is just speculation.

The Red Sox did not offer Ortiz a contract during the exclusive negotiating period, but yesterday we heard that the two sides have been talking.

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