It's no secret that David Ortiz was looking for a multiyear contract this offseason, but now the long-time Red Sox DH isn't optimistic about getting one. Ortiz told reporters (including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford) at tonight's Boston BBWAA dinner that he doesn't expect the two sides to reach a deal before an arbitration hearing.
"It doesn't seem like it right now," said Ortiz when asked about a potential contract. "From a business standpoint, that's how it goes … I've been watching from the outside."
Ortiz also downplayed the arbitration process, saying "it doesn’t seem like [a big deal] to me." The 36-year-old slugger accepted arbitration last month rather than try his luck on the open market, and earlier this week he filed for a $16.5MM salary while the team countered with $12.65MM. He hit .309/.398/.554 with 29 homers while earning $12.5MM in 2011.
Earlier this offseason we learned that the Sox did offer Ortiz a two-year contract, though it was only worth $18MM. Arbitration hearings start in February, though the two sides can come to an agreement on a contract of any size before then.