The Red Sox have not broached the topic of a new contract with David Ortiz and no discussions are expected to take place between the two parties before the season ends, Ortiz tells Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
"Nobody from the team's front office has talked to me about a contract or about the future," Ortiz said. "And to be honest, I don't expect them to do so."
The Sox aren't quite the Yankees in terms of a strict policy against in-season contract talks, but as MLBTR's Transaction Tracker reveals, Theo Epstein generally leaves extensions for the offseason. Adrian Gonzalez and Clay Buchholz both finalized extensions within the first two weeks of this season (perhaps to avoid an extra luxury tax penalty), but before those deals you have to go back to 2006 to find the last in-season extension for a Boston player — Josh Beckett's three-year, $30MM pact on July 1, 2006.
While Ortiz reiterated his desire to stay in Boston, he noted that he didn't mind the lack of negotiations since right now he is concentrating on baseball.
"At this point we have a good streak going. We are all focused on bringing back the championship to Boston," Ortiz said. "We don't need any particular distractions, from me or anybody else….I think it would be somewhat improper to get into this kind of thing now that we are playing so well. I would like to stay in Boston for the rest of my career, but it's something that is out of my control."
Ortiz can afford to wait, given the 1.009 OPS he carried into tonight's game. Provided Ortiz stays healthy and keeps hitting even close to his current levels, he'll put the onus on team management to re-sign him or else feel the heat from Red Sox Nation over letting the beloved Big Papi leave. As MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith pointed out last month, Ortiz will surely be able to find a multiyear deal somewhere in the AL given the lack of options at designated hitter. But, given Ortiz's stature with the Sox, the likeliest scenario is that he ends up back at Fenway Park in 2012 and probably in 2013 as well.