Tonight represented the end of the illustrious career of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, as Boston was knocked out by the Indians in a sweep. The 40-year-old’s twentieth season in the majors was one of his best, as he led the league in slugging percentage and OPS (with a .315/.401/.620 batting line) while knocking 38 long balls in 626 plate appearances. Despite the team’s disappointing end to the year, the Fenway Faithful stayed on hand long after the game for one final in-uniform curtain call. MLBTR offers its congratulations to a player who was one of the greatest designated hitters ever to suit up. All told, he racked up over 10,000 MLB plate appearances with a monster .286/.380/.552 slash line and 541 home runs — 17th most in major league history.
As the Hall of Fame debate begins in earnest on Ortiz, here’s more from around the game:
- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed optimism that there will be a positive resolution in “relatively short order” on the Athletics’ quest for a new park, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (in a tweet) and Joe Stiglich of SportsNet California (Twitter links) were among those to report. Nothing seems to be imminent — Manfred suggested that something will come together within the next year — but it nevertheless seems that there’s some forward progress. He suggested that there are still several potential sites being explored in Oakland, with mayor Libby Schaaf having “made it clear to [Manfred] that baseball is her first priority.”
- Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune takes a long look at the Mariners’ many roster decisions this winter. Among other things, he notes that Seattle is open to bringing back Drew Storen, though the sense is that the reliever will look for a late-inning opportunity elsewhere. He also breaks down the decisions on many arbitration-eligible relievers; you can find their projected arb salaries right here. In the field, Dae-ho Lee could be retained as a righty option at first, but that’s no certainty. And one of the biggest questions is at short; Dutton notes that the club intends to look into a veteran option after a tough year for Ketel Marte.
- The Orioles may face a call on young first baseman Trey Mancini, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com explains. He had a solid season in the upper minors, but swatted three long balls in just five games of major league action late in the year. Some might suggest that the O’s shift Chris Davis to right field, but Kubatko suggests that’s not a likely outcome. And while Mancini could get a look there, the club hasn’t seemed optimistic about such a move. Instead, perhaps, he’ll more likely push for a spot in the DH mix — but could end up back at Triple-A, at least to start the year.
- Matt Harvey remains a wild card for the Mets after undergoing surgery to help alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, but there’s a bit of good news on that front. Harvey is already able to throw, as he posted to his personal Instagram account. His specific timeline remains unclear, but that would seem to suggest that he’ll be ready for a full spring.