A provocative Instagram post from David Ortiz following news of the trade of Chris Sale to Boston yesterday had some Red Sox fans wondering if their team planned to talk the retired slugger into returning for 2017. But the team has no such plans, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes.
“My boy Sale to Btown? You guys got me thinking,” Ortiz wrote on Instagram yesterday.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says he thinks Ortiz was joking, and adds that the team will not initiate talks designed to lead to his return. “I wouldn’t want to reach out to him,” says Dombrowski. “I know David well enough — and I know that if he really had sincere interest, that he would call.”
MacPherson notes that, regardless of Ortiz’s intentions, he cannot come off the voluntary retired list for the first 60 days of the season. It’s easy to see why Red Sox fans would have interest in his return, however — the Red Sox have had a high-profile offseason without making a high-profile acquisition to fill Ortiz’s spot in the lineup (although they did add Mitch Moreland earlier this week). Ortiz departed last season at the top of his game, having batted .315/.401/.620 while leading the AL or tying for the AL lead in doubles, RBIs, slugging percentage and OPS in 2016.