The Rangers have expressed serious interest in free agent designated hitter David Ortiz, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Texas executives envision Ortiz as someone who could replace the offense of Josh Hamilton should the outfielder sign elsewhere.
The Red Sox are still considered the favorites to sign Ortiz, Rosenthal reports. The sides continued discussing a two-year deal worth as much as $25MM this week. Only the Red Sox can sign Ortiz for now, but their exclusive negotiating period ends first thing Saturday morning.
Ortiz will likely obtain a qualifying offer from Boston later today. If he declines the offer to pursue other options he'll be linked to draft pick compensation, meaning a team such as the Rangers would have to surrender a draft pick to sign him.
Ortiz, who turns 37 later in November, posted a .318/.415/.611 batting line in 383 plate appearances this past season. He hit 23 home runs and 26 doubles, but appeared in just one game after suffering a right Achilles strain on July 16th. An SFX client, Ortiz ranks 13th on MLBTR’s list of the offseason’s top 50 free agents.