Tuesday, December 10, 2013
BOSTON - Shortly before he met the media Tuesday at Fenway Park, new Red Sox Manager John Farrell spent some time with David Ortiz.
Alex Rodriguez struggled down the stretch and into the postseason, but New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi expects him to be the regular third baseman next season.
The Associated Press
Odds are they will be seeing more of each other.
Progress is being made to ensure that Ortiz avoids free agency and re-signs with the Red Sox, likely on a two-year contract, according to a major league source. General Manager Ben Cherington spoke Monday with Ortiz's agent, Fernando Cuza, and the two likely will talk before the end of the week.
"As I've said, we want to have David back," Cherington said. "We've had good, amicable dialogue since the end of the season. Our hope is to get something done."
Under terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, teams have only five days after the end of the World Series to make a qualifying offer to their free agents. That offer to Ortiz figures to be about $13.3 million, an average of the top 125 salaries from this past season.
Last year, under the old rules, Ortiz terminated his free agency by accepting salary arbitration and signed a one-year, $14.575 million deal. Accepting the qualifying offer now would represent a pay cut and leave him with another one-year contract. Ortiz has been seeking a multiyear deal.
There appears to be motivation for both sides to make a deal. Ortiz is expected to make a complete recovery after missing the final 21/2 months of the season with his right Achilles injury. At 36, he led the Sox with a .318 average and 1.026 OPS, ranked second in home runs (23) and tied for fourth in RBI (60).
It's little wonder Farrell hopes to write Ortiz's name in his opening-day lineup, although their meeting was a coincidence.
"I think David was in here working out," Cherington said with a slight smile. "Out of the goodness of our hearts, we kept the door open for David to use our facility here as long as he is in Boston."
YANKEES: Alex Rodriguez and his potentially bruised ego might be the least of the team's problems this offseason.
CC Sabathia is going to have his left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are aging stars dealing with major injuries. Hiroki Kuroda, Ichiro Suzuki and Nick Swisher are headed for free agency.
The one that will garner the most headlines is what -- or what not -- to do with A-Rod. Rodriguez, 37, returned from a broken hand in September and struggled down the stretch and into the postseason. Still, Manager Joe Girardi is planning for A-Rod to be in his lineup next year.
"I expect Alex to be our everyday third baseman. I do," Girardi said. "What does he have to show me? That he's healthy and ready to go."
Even if the Yankees would like to trade Rodriguez it will be extremely difficult: They owe him at least $114 million over the next five seasons.
Girardi had less to offer on a myriad of possible issues.
• He felt confident that Sabathia will be ready for spring training even though the left-hander is going to have his elbow examined by the doctor who is renowned for performing elbow-reconstruction surgery known as Tommy John surgery. Sabathia went on the disabled list this August because of swelling in the elbow -- his second trip of the year to the DL after a groin strain.
• Girardi also expects Jeter back on opening day. Jeter had surgery Saturday after breaking his ankle Oct. 13 during the ALCS. "Whenever a guy goes through something there are concerns because sometimes a player could rush it and tweak something else because he's rushing it and he's anxious to get out there so I think there's always a concern," Giradi said, "but, I mean, really in our hearts we believe that he's going to be ready for us."
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