Red Sox Extend David Ortiz Through 2015

USATSI_7801447The Red Sox have announced that they've signed David Ortiz to a one-year extension through 2015, with a team/vesting option for 2016 and a team option for 2017. Ortiz will reportedly receive $16MM next year, which (as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe notes on Twitter) matches the 2015 salary of Mike Napoli, the team's highest-paid player.

The options are designed to change in value based upon playing time (unlike the escalating terms of his prior deal, which were tied to time spent on the DL). For 2016, if Ortiz falls shy of 425 plate appearances the option will be a straight, $10MM club option. If he reaches that mark, the option vests and becomes guaranteed at $11MM. An additional $1MM guarantee is tacked on at each of the following PA thresholds: 475, 525, 550, 575, and 600. For the 2017 option, the value moves in the precisely the same way, except that it has no vesting element.

"With this agreement, we have near certainty that David Ortiz will finish his career in a Red Sox uniform, which is something we have all wanted and that we are all proud of," said Red Sox owner John Henry. "It is difficult to describe David’s contributions to our city both on the field and off the field, and we are so proud to have this ambassador of our game with us as he continues on this road to Cooperstown."

Though he's entering his age-38 season, Ortiz is fresh off yet another outstanding season at the plate in which he batted .300/.395/.564 with 30 homers in 600 plate appearances. Big Papi has been vocal about wanting to work out a one-year extension to remain with the club and has not shied away from telling reporters that he feels he's earned another significant payday as "The Man" in Boston's lineup at an age where many have been reduced to complementary roles. It's hard to argue that Ortiz's production isn't worthy of that salary, as he's been at least 34 percent better than a league-average hitter in each season from 2010-13, according to OPS+ and wRC+.

Via Twitter,'s Gordon Edes was the first to report the two sides had reached agreement on an extension. Rob Bradford of reported that Ortiz would receive $16MM in 2015. FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi tweeted the extension could include a club option for 2016, which would become a vesting player option based on plate appearances. Edes tweeted there was also an option for 2017. Jon Heyman of first tweeted details of the vesting and escalator provisions of the option years, with Alex Speier reporting the full terms of the options. 

Steve Adams, Charlie Wilmoth, and Jeff Todd contributed to this post. Photo by USA Today Sports Images.

105 Responses to Red Sox Extend David Ortiz Through 2015 Leave a Reply

  1. Karkat 1 year ago

    Not bad at all. Keep everyone happy.

  2. elclashcombo 1 year ago

    By September, he’ll be griping about his 2016 contract.

    • SierraM363 1 year ago

      It could be worse.

      At least he isn’t an under producing player with an albatross contract, who is also suspended.

      • GrilledCheese39 1 year ago

        Wonder who you could be describing..

    • InvalidUserID 1 year ago

      Haha, first thing I thought too when I saw the news.

    • Michael 1 year ago

      You’re giving it until September?

  3. JaysFan1996 1 year ago

    How about they give a him a rolling contract thats the QO+1 million

    • Doesn’t really accomplish anything at this point given how old he is. Wake’s deal was uncommon for a reason.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      Because they didn’t want to guarantee him more money.

  4. Tbo1221 1 year ago

    I’m not too crazy about this. I hate to say this, but in my personal opinion with no evidence to support it, I feel like he’s a 50 game suspension waiting to happen. At 38, I also wouldn’t be surprised by another 2009 type of performance. I’d rather see the Red Sox use DH to rotate some guys for rest. I must be the only Red Sox fan who is kind of tired of his arrogance and wishes he would have just played out the year.

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all he has done wearing a Red Sox uniform but I’m not going to be all that sad when he’s gone.

    • radnom 1 year ago

      .395 OBP 30 hr

      You’re insane.

      • Tbo1221 1 year ago

        I know he had a good year. It’s not unheard of for older players to have big dropoffs in performance. I’m especially wary because of my belief of PED use. That is why I don’t believe in guaranteeing more years when he was already under contract for 2014.

        • john 1 year ago

          No. he is right youre insane. Ortiz deserves every dollar he gets even if he never picks up a bat in the next two years. 3 Championships thanks to that man.

          • Tbo1221 1 year ago

            I’d rather pay for future performance than past performance. Emotions should not be a factor in contract negotiations.

  5. LazerTown 1 year ago

    They need him. He is still by far their best hitter.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      Bringing back your post from a day back Lazer.. You make an excellent point and he’s worth it in that the team just must have him and at at least 3/4 production of what he gave in 2013 levels until they find someone else, or that person is developed within.

      The team has not had any protection for him since they traded Gonzalez. Some think Napoli has been that, but only has he in very short spurts.

      This team desperately needs Bogaerts to mature very fast and/or Cecchini to progress and develop fast at both the minor league and major league levels for Ortiz.

      Teams are going to continue pitching around Ortiz as long as Napoli is that same long ice cold hitter with short hot streaks that he is. Other than that, the team will depend on Pedroia and Victorino to produce at the top and middle of the order, it’s not going to be the same IMO for Papi this year.

      • LazerTown 1 year ago

        I liked their original $39M/3 deal for Napoli, he very similar production wise to Swisher for me, and is a solid hitter. There is a huge void though if Ortiz went missing though. Napoli is not who I would want in the #3 slot. Ideally he would be #5, giving some power to clear the bases, and still not making too many outs.

  6. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    The one year extension is certainly worth it at $16MM. The addition team/player vesting option for 2016 I’m not so sure about.

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      I think is good. To me the biggest concern with him would be health. If he has a vesting option and he is healthy enough to get it then he should be fine.

  7. Mo Vaughn 1 year ago

    Not that it really matters, but he batted .309

  8. pft2 1 year ago

    “It’s hard to argue that Ortiz’s production isn’t worthy of that salary,
    as he’s been at least 34 percent better than a league-average hitter in
    each season from 2010-13, according to OPS+ and wRC+.”

    So how much is a league average hitter with no defensive value worth?. And BTW, Papi will be age 39 in 2015.

    His defiance of the age decline curves certainly raises some eyebrows. Last year his OPS+ was the highest of any age 37 player since 1920 except Babe, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. It was only a few years ago, 2009 and the first part of 2010 that he looked pretty washed up.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Can’t help myself. Stephen Drew was 11% better than the league average hitter and plays the most important defensive position very well. Whats he worth accoiding to this model?

      • When Drew wins a franchise their first championship in 86 years and then two more after that, he can be brought into the equation. Papi is worth 16 million because he is Papi.

        • Richard Sherman 1 year ago

          So if he asked for a 5 year extension, you would give it to him “because he is Papi”?

          • No but he didn’t. I wasn’t a fan of his demands, but I think this was the right thing to do.

          • Crucisnh 1 year ago

            I wouldn’t either. Even with the somewhat reduced wear on his body due to him being a career DH, he’s still on the back side of his career. Time is going to catch up with him sooner than later.

            But while he’s still productive, I don’t see a problem with this sort of year to year kind of set up. At worst, the Sox would be only on hook for 1 additional year beyond the current season, if and when time finally does catch up with Ortiz.

          • Mike1L 1 year ago

            I’m no fan of Papi, but the contract is akin to the Yankees paying Jeter. Boston fans want him and he has more value to them than just what happens on the field.

      • Mike1L 1 year ago

        I know you can’t help yourself. Drew is worth what the market is willing to pay, and according to Boras, there’s an offer out there for 3/39, which clearly isn’t enough for him. We will have to see.

    • Crucisnh 1 year ago

      I think that you’re missing an important point. As a career DH, he’s probably played less than 100 games in the field since he’s joined the Red Sox, or somewhere around that number (including post season games). Ortiz doesn’t have as many “miles” on his body compared to, say, a full time 1st baseman. So one might say that his body only has the wear and tear on it equivalent to perhaps about a 35 year old player.

      Is it possible that he’s using something? I won’t say no. But I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt *because* he’s been a career DH and hasn’t built up the wear and tear on his body that a regular position player would.

      • rikersbeard 1 year ago

        I don’t think it is just wear and tear that is a problem with aging. There is also diminished reaction time.

      • Curt Green 1 year ago

        Is he using? I will say yes.

      • pft2 1 year ago

        How much wear and tear does a 1B man get. Ortiz could very well have played 1B but the Red Sox had other options. Also, many hitters find it hard to DH and hit worse as a DH. Having someone who can play the official MLB position well by hitting as he does should not be minimized.

        The biggest wear and tear on any 1Bman is running the bases, something Papi has done a lot of getting on base as often as he does

        • Crucisnh 1 year ago

          Actually, IIRC, the stated reason that the Sox didn’t move Ortiz to 1B was that they wanted to avoid the wear and tear on his body from playing the position. IIRC their specific concern was over his knees.

          Of course, once Youkilis showed that he could play a stellar defensive 1B, there was hardly any need to play 1B, except in IL and WS games.

        • $40129616 1 year ago

          “The biggest wear and tear on any 1bman is running the bases…”

          Tell that to Kevin Youkilis.

  9. Spit Ball 1 year ago

    Big market team, only 16 million, best hitter on the team by far last year. That being said; DON’T LOVE IT.

  10. Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

    Anyone who says Ortiz is on steroids needs to do some research for themselves before they make blind accusations.

    • Jim01702 1 year ago

      Not sure how it’s a blind accusations considering he FAILED A DRUG TEST in 2003. Ortiz is a cheater just like all the other ped users.

      But typical boston fans look the other way. If another player on another team is caught cheating they get booed and called a cheater. Yet if a Red Sox player is caught the fans act like nothing happen and treat them like a god.

      • Richard Sherman 1 year ago

        Thank you sir, you took the words right out of my head as I was about to type them.

        • Guest 1 year ago

          I suppose you think Mike Piazza also took steroids?

        • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

          I suppose you also think Mike Piazza and Albert Pujols also took steroids because they were accused of it by other people? An accusation provides no evidence at all to a players guilt

      • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

        He was ACCUSED of failing a drug test in 2003, however it was a legal, over the counter substance that caused the test to show up positive. The tests ten years ago weren’t as accurate as they are today. Trot Nixon failed the same test for the exact same reason. And it has nothing to do with Boston or their fans, seeing as we can all admit Manny was a cheater.

        • Richard Sherman 1 year ago

          “We can all admit Manny was a cheater”

          1) Just because you can, does not mean everyone else can. I have seen Red Sox fans on other sports sites criticizing Alex Rodriguez, but never saying a word about Manny.
          2) The test in 2003 was a test by MLB to determine the extent of PED use in the game. Ortiz was one of those who showed up on the list.

          • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

            That list is far from 100% true. Some of the names on the list actually DID take PED’s, a lot of them didn’t. If you read the actual list, it says Ortiz, along with about half of the 104 names on the list, says Ortiz tested positive for an “unknown substance.” Even going by just that information alone, it isn’t enough to accuse him of cheating or taking PED’s.

          • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

            That list is far from 100% true. Some of the names on the list actually
            DID take PED’s, a lot of them didn’t. If you read the actual list, it
            says Ortiz, along with about half of the 104 names on the list, says
            Ortiz tested positive for an “unknown substance.” Even going by just
            that information alone, it isn’t enough to accuse him of cheating or
            taking PED’s.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            The only substances that constituted a positive result were banned PED’s. The fact they did not make public the actual substance does not mean it was not a banned substance.

          • Curt Green 1 year ago

            Your bias is showing.

        • Jim01702 1 year ago

          No he FAILED a test for steroids.

          • mattdecap 1 year ago

            Not even the reporters who broke the story know for certain if Ortiz failed that test, as the results were sealed under court order. While it is all too possible Ortiz did fail that test, the evidence of it basically amounts to hearsay. Also, it could have been a number of banned substances, not just steroids, that would have caused him to fail.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            The 2003 program required 2 tests. If you failed the first test you were notified another test would be done in 7 days and players were advised to take no supplements. If you passed the 2nd test you were not on the list, if you failed the 2nd test you were.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            Also, the program in 2003 was limited to performance enhancing drugs, a much shorter list than exists today, and it did not test for HGH as testing only began last year

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            “Of the 104 positive tests in 2003, at most 96 would have been considered positive by Major League Baseball at the time. According to Espie, at least eight positive tests were for substances that were not banned by MLB in 2003.”

            “At least eight” We don’t even know if the substance Ortiz took was banned in 2003.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            The 2003 program required 2 tests. If you failed the first test you were notified another test would be done in 7 days and players were advised to take no supplements. If you passed the 2nd test you were not on the list, if you failed the 2nd test you were.

          • Fangaffes 1 year ago

            Citation needed. MLB never said he failed a test fr steroids.

        • MB923 1 year ago

          “however it was a legal, over the counter substance that caused the test to show up positive”

          That’s not confirmed. What he tested positive for is in a court of law and is unknown. It very well may have been an OTC substance, but it is not known yet what he caused him to test positive.

          • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

            It has never been “confirmed” he failed a steroid test either. The ‘list’ appeared in a newspaper, that someone paid cash to get. Your point?

          • MB923 1 year ago

            I didn’t say anything about a steroid test. I said a PED test. It is not the same thing.

          • Guest 1 year ago

            He didn’t fail a PED test either. That doesn’t change my point.

          • MB923 1 year ago

            Actually he did. Whether it not it was legal or illegal PED’s is unknown. Don’t be bitter because one of your beloved players may be a cheater.

        • Lance Pistachio 1 year ago

          You’re one of the people that believes those excuses players give about why they failed drug tests? Did you also believe that Ryan Braun’s drug test was tainted by an anti-semite and that Melky Cabrera was victimized by a supplement website?

    • Mike1L 1 year ago

      The truth is that none of us know for sure whether Ortiz or any other player used in the past, or is using now, except for those who clearly failed tests. As fans, we see what we want to see. I can recall reading another blog a couple of years ago where a Ryan Braun fan went on an extended tear of outrage over the (initial) accusation. I assume if that gentlemen is still commenting, he’s changed his user name. I’m not so sanguine as to think that none of my favorite players have never seen a syringe.

      • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

        Ortiz is actually not one of my favorite players, nor was he ever. I mean of course I cheered for him when he came to bat, and I like the leadership he brings to the team, but I’ve never considered him one of my favorite players.

        • Mike1L 1 year ago

          My point was that no one really can be sure of anything these days. With all the masking agents, the off-season stuff, and random chance, you just don’t know. I’m not accusing Ortiz of anything.

          • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

            We can never know for certain, but innocent until proven guilty

          • Richard Sherman 1 year ago

            We might not know for certain, but reason and logic alone can prove Ortiz is guilty. Even if he didn’t take steroids in 2003, he probably did after 2009. After his surgery, Ortiz had a down year in 09, but came back to hit 32 HR the next year and has maintained the production since then. You can bet your house he took HGH or steroids.

          • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

            No you really can’t that’s the point. You have no way of really knowing, because he hasn’t failed a legit test in that time frame. There’s no use in speculating because it just makes you look bad.

          • Richard Sherman 1 year ago

            He has failed a drug test in the past. Not knowing facts makes YOU look bad. Also, why cannot you use reason? If a player is old, playing poorly, and looks washed up, and then comes back to hit 30+ hr the next year, you have to question how the player did it. Especially if that player has been connected to using PEDs in the past.

          • mattdecap 1 year ago

            Ortiz had sustained a wrist injury at the time he “looked washed up,” so it’s possible that he just got healthy again. In my opinion 30 home runs isn’t really that implausible for a big guy who’s made an entire career out of hitting major league pitching.

          • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

            In that time frame referring to between 2003 and now. Arod also has not failed a test, but there is a preponderance of evidence linking him to a clinic that was dispensing PEDs. You have to have more evidence than, he’s playing better than he should for a player his age. Particularly if you look at Arod, a player that is approximately the same age, and there is evidence linking him to these activities, and he still hasn’t had a decent season recently. What exactly do PEDs do to improve performance if Arod is direct evidence of someone who has been tied to their use?

          • psabella 1 year ago

            To further your point AROD also straight up admitted to taking steroids while in Texas. That alone should clear up any ambiguity.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            Arod did not fail a test either since 2003. They both failed the 2003 test

          • Victoria Roberts 1 year ago

            Right, he just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar trying to destroy evidence. When did that happen to Ortiz?

          • Richard Sherman 1 year ago

            Once again, the test in 2003 had both Ortiz and A- rod caught. A – Rod admitted to taking steroids from 2001-2003 in 2009. Also, A – Rod never failed a drug test, just like Ortiz. Yet they were both on the list in 2003. So how can you just assume Ortiz never took steroids or another banned substance? I bet if you weren’t a Red Sox fan, you would be able to admit Ortiz took steroids.

          • NickinIthaca 1 year ago

            Ortiz also stopped being so pull happy – as opposed to hitting into the shift, he allowed himself to go the other way, which raised his average, and forced teams to pitch him straight up. Which makes it easier for him to hit mistakes far…

          • psabella 1 year ago

            Do you know how they could tell if you were a witch in a long ago era? If they hold you under water and you drown you are not a witch but you are dead. If you do not drown, you are a witch and they burn you to death. The accusation alone is a death sentence so we should be more careful of what we accuse.

          • Richard Sherman 1 year ago

            Back then people were simple minded and did not stop to think before accusing someone of witchcraft. People were basically incapable of using reason. In this case, we can use both evidence and reason to make a fair accusation that Ortiz took steroids or some other banned substance.

          • Philz Zed 1 year ago

            They did not know they were simple minded. Only the passing of time and some perspective allows you to make that judgement. Perhaps you should think objectively and realize that in the future, your logic may also be regarded as simple minded.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Here is the evidence, circumstantial as it may be, I make no accusations.

      1. Association with a known trainer dealing in steroids who was banned by MLB

      2. On the 2003 list which was also a breakout year for Papi in his first year playing with Manny

      3. High cholesterol (steroid symptom)

      4. Heart Palpitations in 2006 (steroid symptom)

      5 Achilles Tendon tear (steroid symptom)

      6. Making a mockery of age related decline curves (career years at age 36 and 37, top 5 OPS+ since 1920 for age 37 yo players)
      None of this is conclusive. The medical symptoms could be due to other reasons, and maybe he just ages well. Nobody should be convicted because they hung around with steroid pushers.

      • 0vercast 1 year ago

        Half-jokingly, I’ll address 3, 4, and 5.

        High cholesterol —> Obesity

        Heart palpitations —> Obesity is a known cause of electrical abnormalities in the heart.

        Achilles tear —> Obese man running as fast as he can on a near-daily basis.

      • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

        “top 5 OPS+ since 1920 for age 37 yo players”? These players all had 160 or higher OPS+ after age 37, after 1920.
        Ted Williams (4 times)
        Babe Ruth (3)
        Barry Bonds (3)
        Ty Cobb (1)
        Tris Speaker (1)
        Hank Aaron (1)
        Edgar Martinez (1)
        Ortiz tied for 13th place. And many modern day players, right behind him. Describing Ortiz’s accomplishment as a “mockery” shows your bias.

        Also, his career years were in 2006 and 07. In 2012, Ortiz only had 324 ABs, how can you call that a career year?

  11. cyyoung 1 year ago

    DH at that pay, 30+ HRS, 100+ RBI’s, .300 + avg. Average year. When he’s doing 150 games at 1st base, and doing it, we’ll talk HOF.

    • Crucisnh 1 year ago

      That’s an average year for DHs? Then why are there so few full time DH’s in the AL? Mind you, I don’t pay attention to all teams and their DH’s. But I don’t recall there being all that many teams that have full time DH’s. And IIRC the other full time DH’s other than Papi aren’t producing anywhere near those numbers. Otherwise you’d see more FT DH’s.

      No, Papi is special. Sure the numbers are really good, but it’s much more than the numbers. Plenty of very good players have put up similar numbers over the years, but not nearly that many have Ortiz’s gift for producing in the clutch.

    • amoreperfectunion 1 year ago

      Why does he need to play 1st to be in the HOF? He is playing a position (DH) and is killing it. No one else in the game can hit as consistently well as Ortiz in the DH position. Also, who is talking about him being in the HOF yet?

  12. Billy Di Rago 1 year ago

    Not bad.

  13. Guest 1 year ago

    Why are my comments always up for mod?

    • amoreperfectunion 1 year ago

      You’re posting as a guest. Register and they won’t be up for mod.

  14. ugotrpk3113 1 year ago

    Why couldn’t the front office simply hold out until the end of the next season? It looks weak when you let the player dictate the rules. Get ready for the complaining week 1 of 2015.

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      When the team just won the World Series and have little tied up long-term, weakness probably isn’t high on their list of stuff to care about. Boston made a decent business decision here. It’s only one extra year..

  15. financialuproar 1 year ago

    It’s gonna be really fun when Big Papi is all washed up and he keeps making demands like this.

    • MB923 1 year ago

      If he’s washed up and demanding more money, I’m sure Cherington won’t give it to him.

  16. Randy Jay Pena 1 year ago

    Now that Ortiz is taken care of, can they hurry up and sign Lester to a deal? The faster they sign him the less anxious I get.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      I remember folks saying that about Beckett in 2010. Sometimes waiting is best. Lester had 2 great months after almost 2 years of mediocrity. Looks good in ST though.

      • Denny Doyle 1 year ago

        You’re cherry picking bad stats. You have to start your numbers in the middle of one season and end it in the middle of another, just to find bad numbers to make your argument. How about he’s been good/very good 5 out of last 6 years (3.0 WAR or higher).

  17. pft2 1 year ago

    Imagine the drama next year if Papi is not hitting well and is benched so that the vesting option does not vest. Mercy.

  18. Dave 1 year ago

    For a guy who doesn’t play defense, this is too much.

    • Matt Mccarron 1 year ago

      His value increases the less he plays in the field.

  19. Mike1L 1 year ago

    Athens is saved…..

  20. Metsfan93 1 year ago

    I have no problem with Boston extending Ortiz for another year and only 16 MM. What I’ll say is that Ortiz should never sniff Cooperstown IMO, unless he is 2013-David from 2014 through 2017 with full health and no decline.

    • $40129616 1 year ago

      “Ortiz should never sniff Cooperstown IMO, unless he is 2013-David from 2014 through 2017 with full health and no decline.”

      In which case the cynics will convict him of PED use based on assumptions and speculation, and he won’t get into Cooperstown.

  21. andm369 1 year ago

    this last world series performance alone was stuff of legend. not to mention his overall postseason heroics in the years he has been on the sox.

  22. 0vercast 1 year ago

    The ageless wonder that will forever haunt Twins fans…

  23. Michael 1 year ago

    I’ve never been a fan of contracts that kick in additional time or money based on incentives. Suppose Ortiz goes through a few bad slumps and ends with 422 plate appearances? Does Farrell take the heat? Sox ownership? Cherington? And, with Papi, it will be all over the press. And I’m not keen on seeing “Ortiz” and “2017” in the same sentence.

    • $40129616 1 year ago

      Just because the vesting option doesn’t vest, doesn’t mean the parties can’t come to the same agreement anyhow. If he misses the option by two plate appearances through no fault of his own, the team and the player can decide to sign a new contract with the exact same terms. Yes, it will be all over the press, but that’s what the press is for; to let us read and talk about baseball.

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