There's been a lot of change in Boston in the last year or so, but David Ortiz isn't going anywhere. The designated hitter known as Big Papi agreed to a two-year deal that will keep him with the Red Sox through 2014, the team announced today.
“He is an historic figure, a beloved hero, and an important player as we build our team for 2013 and beyond,” GM Ben Cherington said in a statement released by the team.
The deal is worth $26MM in total and includes a $14MM salary for 2013, an $11MM salary for 2014 and a $1MM signing bonus, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (Twitter links). The value of the second year can increase to $13MM or $15MM depending on how much time Ortiz misses in 2013. Ortiz will earn $15MM in 2014 if he misses 20 or fewer days on the disabled list due to his Achilles injury in 2013, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports.
Ortiz, who turns 37 in just over two weeks, posted a .318/.415/.611 batting line in 383 plate appearances this past season. The Red Sox extended a qualifying offer worth $13.3MM to the SFX client last week. The move would have netted the club a compensatory draft pick if he signed elsewhere, but Ortiz will instead remain as a cornerstone of the Boston lineup.
The veteran ranked 13th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents this offseason and figured to have multiple suitors, including the Rangers. In ten seasons with the Red Sox, Ortiz has hit .290/.389/.573, earning eight All-Star selections along the way.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com first reported news of the agreement. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) reported that the two sides were likely to strike a deal. Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.