With the tense contract negotiations behind them, it would be easy to forget that David Ortiz missed a large chunk of the season with an achilles injury. Ortiz says he has recovered from the injury, but if you think the Boston Red Sox forgot about it, you're dead wrong. Ortiz's new contract has an incentive-based clause surrounding his health.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Red Sox have included a clause which could pay Ortiz an additional four million dollars in 2014 if he misses 20 or fewer games this upcoming season. The base deal itself is worth two years, $26 million.
Ortiz suffered a strained achilles back in July. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list, rehabbed, and tried to come back. He played in one game upon his activation but was promptly placed back on the disabled list. Ortiz ultimately missed the rest of the season and only played in 90 games on the season. In those 90 games, though, Ortiz was excellent.
Ortiz hit .318/.415/.611 last season, and he made the American League All-Star team. Ortiz also clubbed 23 home runs. We are left to only imagine what he could have done if healthy all season long. And that's what the Red Sox want to make sure they avoid - paying for something they don't season. If Ortiz's numbers in 2012 were extrapolated over the course of a full season, he certainly would have been worth $15 million. His new contract makes sure he plays a full season if he wants to make that much.
The Red Sox are in the process of a complete overhaul. They have a new manager in John Farrell, they have their designated hitter signed to an extension, and now they must figure out the rest. The 2012 season was an absolute disaster. Boston can't take another step back. They have worked to hard to become relevant in the American league East. Ortiz's contract is a first step in the right direction, but it will mean even more if he can stay healthy.
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