Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
It's appearing more likely that by the time Boston's exclusive
negotiating rights with David Ortiz expire at midnight ET at the end of
Friday, the sides won't have a deal.
However, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington remains hopeful that Ortiz will return for an 11th season in Boston.
"Well, we're working on it," said Cherington on WEEI's Hot Stove program
on Thursday night. "We've been talking to David since the end of the
season, and it's been a good conversation. Everyone knows that we'd like
to keep him, and I think there's mutual interest. And we've had a lot
of talks, and we've made up some ground in some areas, but we still have
some work to do.
We'll keep working on it," Cherington said. "If we get past tomorrow
night, we'll continue to work on it. We remain hopeful that we'll keep
him in a Red Sox uniform next year."
MLB.com - Ortiz likely to hit market, but Sox eye deal
I don't know whether the Sox and Ortiz can come to terms before Papi officially becomes a free agent, but I'm not really panicking over the looming deadline either.
From the start, I thought the Ortiz negotiations were going to go one of two ways: either Papi told the Sox he's had enough of dealing with Boston's nonsense and was planning on suiting up for someone else, or he wants to stay and is going to get a deal done. It was, and still is, always possible that Papi wants to stay but Boston simply isn't willing to pony up the years, or cash, to make the deal happen. But I just can't imagine the Sox are that stupid.
First off, from a baseball perspective the Sox lineup has virtually no power. Unless they plan on going out and spending million in free agency (and God do I hope not) who's driving in runs for this team? There's no big bats waiting in the minors. There's no big bats in the majors. They have one slugger and his name is David Ortiz. They can't let him get away.
Secondarily, from a PR perspective, letting Ortiz walk would be a nightmare. Especially when you consider how fast the Yankees would be knocking on his door with wheelbarrows full of cash. David Ortiz is the Red Sox. To let him go over a few million dollars, especially on the heels of the Great Salary Purge of 2012(tm) would be unforgivable.
If my offseason plan, I said I'd let Ortiz make me an offer on what it would take to get him to stay, and I'd immediately agree to those terms. I don't blame Boston for trying to save some cash in these negotiations, and Ortiz has deal with this front office long enough to know that these situations usually don't play out quickly. But at some point, the Sox are going to have to be willing to pay Ortiz more than they want to.
Paying Ortiz $5 million more per year than he's probably worth is something we can all live with. Letting him walk because you've established his value, again, and won't bend from your pre-determined dollar amount is not.
Get the deal done.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Short-term possibilities out there | David Ortiz talks go to wire | Globe - Two Sox prospects picked for Rising Stars Game | Five free agent moves Red Sox should make | WEEI -Cherington on Youk: 'Got to be open-minded' | Two more to interview for Sox pitching coach | CSNNE - Sox should give Ortiz his two-year deal | RI sues Schilling over 38 Studios loan guarantee