Pedro Martinez likes where the Red Sox are headed.
The former Boston ace, who may join the team as an advisor, told MLB.com on Saturday that he was pleased that the team and slugger David Ortiz reportedly worked out a two-year, $26 million deal.
"I think it's great," Martinez said. "I think it's really smart for the Red Sox to actually start the new year with something positive."
Martinez said he had congratulated Ortiz, and the two even set up a dinner date for Saturday night.
Martinez said he was happy to hear of the deal not only for what it means to Ortiz but also because of how it helps the Red Sox, who haven't always taken care of fan favorites and the players who led Boston to its finest moments. (Martinez, for one, ended up leaving the club for more money elsewhere after saying he wanted to stay.)
"I think Boston learned from their own experience what the fans and the players feel about Boston, and I think that they did a great job at signing David and bringing him back and probably have him finish his career here in Boston," Martinez said.
Martinez spoke of Ortiz's value to the team, saying he is respected by "everybody" in the organization. While some have said Ortiz's deal was a bit too much money -- and a year too long -- for a 37-year-old designated hitter who has battled injuries, others have lauded the contract, saying the Red Sox were paying for more than a hitter and have rewarded Ortiz appropriately for his many contributions to the team as a leader and player.
Martinez seemed to agree.
"He earned it, and I think the Red Sox totally understand that David belongs here," he said. "… I think the fans are really behind David, and they shouldn't have one more sour grape to give to the fans at this point."
The Red Sox have already locked up a new manager in John Farrell and now have arguably their biggest free agent contract of the offseason taken care of with the deal with Ortiz.