Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 12/3/11

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What's more important, money or a long-term contract?
"It's the whole package. The number one thing is respect, the respect that you get from whoever you play for, because you know how you been doing your thing through the years... Hopefully things work out with the Red Sox and worse case, if it's not with them, it will be with someone else."

Do the Red Sox owe Ortiz anything?
"Not at all. I think, you sign a contract with the Sox and you're supposed to give them back what they expect from you... When you played for the period of time I have played with the Sox, you must be doing something right. It's not like you're going to stick with a team without giving them what they expect from you, and I know they feel that way about myself. I'm not going to tell you that they ain't, but we're talking and, like I say to my fans in New England: (looks into camera) Hopefully things work out, I love you guys, and I would like to finish my career as a Red Sox, but it's not on me anymore,"

CSNNE - Ortiz nearing free-agent decision

Comcast SportsNet's Jessica Moran caught up with Ortiz in the Dominican, where Papi is holding his charity golf tournament.  She got some good info from Ortiz (not that he usually has a filter on), but none more important than this: "Now when I meet with [agent Fern Cuza] on Monday, we're going to decide what I'm going to do." 

We'll probably know very early next week whether Papi accepted, or declined, arbitration. Chuck is right on, when he says Ortiz would be a fool to decline arbitration.  Although we know, from his quote above, that he's most looking for 'respect'.  Arbitration isn't exactly respect, so I wouldn't put it past him to decline simply based on principle.  And if he does decline, he's going to get less money.  Unless someone like Baltimore, who can't seem to give their money away, grossly overpay for him simply so they can have a free agent "splash". 

But, assuming he does decline, I think the Sox could lock him up with a two-year $8-10 million contract.  That gives him a multi-year contract, so he can shut up about that for at least a season at an obscenely respectful salary.  Two years at $8 million isn't much more than the $12-14 million he'd make in one year if he accepted arbitration, but again, this is about 'respect' (whatever that means).  Plus, if the Red Sox are seriously looking into paying Ryan Madson $30+ million over the next few years to be mediocre in the 9th inning, we certainly can afford to give Papi some dough.

And, it IS up to you, David Ortiz.  Stop saying otherwise.  If you want to play for the Red Sox next year, they've offered you arbitration.  That's a wide open door for you to come back.  If you don't, and you find some convoluted reason to explain your decision to leave, that was ultimately your decision.  But I'll still love you anyway.

Rest of the links:

CSNNE - Felger: Valentine visit a non-factor | Red Sox prepare for winter meetings | Magadan to return as Red Sox hitting coach | Herald - Bobby Valentine pays Big Papi a visit | AL East rivals go to bat for Ortiz’ services | Globe - Wakefield: 'I have a strong desire to pitch one more year for the Red Sox' | Valentine designated to recruit Ortiz | WEEI - Cherington: 'I've spoken with' Beckett | Cherington: 'Don't think' Sveum was a fit

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