Red Sox Can’t Let Ortiz Retire

David Ortiz came through again in Saturday’s 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays, swatting a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth before Craig Kimbrel blew the save. With each game that goes by it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Red Sox can’t let Ortiz retire after this season.

Ortiz is not only the best hitter on the Red Sox, but also one of the best hitters in baseballRed Sox Can't Let Ortiz Retire. He currently leads the majors in doubles (23), RBI (46), slugging (.720), OPS (1.146) and total bases (121). He’s having arguably the best year of his Hall of Fame-caliber career, and he’s a huge reason why the Sox are in first place.

While Big Papi has said repeatedly that this season will be his last, the Red Sox can’t let Ortiz retire. He’s too important to the team. His bat, leadership skills, and postseason experience are irreplaceable. It’s noble that he wants to walk away on his own terms, but Red Sox management has to do everything in its power to stop him.

How can Boston change its designated hitter’s mind? By offering him more money than he can possibly refuse. Every man has his price, and the Red Sox have the resources to blow Ortiz away. They could double his current salary of $16 million, which would make him the MLB’s richest position player next year. Most of that would be funded by Clay Buchholz’s $13.5 million team option, which Boston seems unlikely to sign if his move to the bullpen becomes permanent.

Ortiz has played for a long time and made a lot of money, but offering him a nice payday should make him reconsider. He’s been paid below market value for most of his career, so it would mean a lot to him to have one of the three highest salaries in baseball. If Ortiz equates dollars with respect, he’d have a hard time saying no.

Should Red Sox Shop for a Replacement for David Ortiz?

Should the Red Sox shop for a replacement for David Ortiz? While many are looking at Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts to take over for Ortiz when he retires, I’m starting to wonder if it would be a good idea to look outside the Red Sox organization for new replacement for David Ortizblood and snatch someone from another team.

Now, before anyone slams me for saying this, keep in mind that Ortiz himself wasn’t home-grown. Ortiz came over from in 2003 after a few years of inconsistent hitting with the Minnesota Twins. In fact, it was Pedro Martinez who pushed Theo Epstein to sign Ortiz, who later helped the Red Sox win their first World Series in eighty-six years. There’s a few reasons why looking elsewhere for a replacement would be a great idea.

First, veterans on the team like Dustin Pedrioa, Clay Bucholtz, and even Ortiz himself could  make suggestions to Dave Dombrowski, just like Martinez did for Epstein. They’ve been around the game for many years and definitely know good talent when they see it. While there’s more than plenty of talent in the organization already, especially in Pawtucket (I’m looking at you Josh Rutledge and Henry Owens!), the Red Sox need a leader. They need a younger but seasoned player who can join the team sooner than later before Ortiz leaves. By then, this new leader will be able to take the reigns from Ortiz more smoothly.

Let’s look at Baltimore’s Manny Machado. He’s young, hit 35 home runs last season, and has a solid batting average. He’d mesh well with the younger players like Travis Shaw and Mookie Betts. Then there’s Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, another young player who helped lead the Royals to the World Series last year with 22 home runs. The Red Sox could use that kind of experience on the team. These two guys are young enough that they’ll be around for years to come and with experience, can lead the Red Sox to another post-season appearance.

Could Replacement for David Ortiz Come From The National League?

If the Red Sox shop for someone outside of the American League they might find strong talent in the Mets organization. Travis Taijeron, who has yet to play a major league game, has already been named a top rookie in the Mets camp, and hit 27 home runs last season in the minors. He hasn’t made it to the majors yet, but the alternative hitting perspective he’d bring to the Red Sox would benefit other hitters who could look to him to see how his hitting improved with other teams. In other words, he could provide an alternative perspective.

Whoever it is that takes Ortiz’s place in the lineup, whether it’s someone already with the Red Sox, or someone from another team,  it’ll most likely surprise those in the Red Sox Nation. Few thought Ortiz would be a major benefit for the Red Sox when he signed with them in 2003, so it’s possible that his successor might follow a similar path. So who knows who it’ll be? Maybe he’s already on the team, or with another team, just waiting for the right time and place to take his rightful place in the lineup.

David Ortiz to Retire After 2016 Season

On Wednesday, Red Sox great David Ortiz announced that he will retire following the 2016 season. After a career full of drama and glory, Big Papi will hang up his spikes next fall, closing one of the greatest chapters in the history of New England sports.

David Ortiz to retire

Ortiz broke the news in a video for the Players’ Tribune, ending twenty-four hours of mounting speculation. “Every single one of us, athletes-wise, runs out of time at some point,” said Ortiz on the day he turned 40-years old. “After next season, I’m going to be done with my career and playing baseball.”

Of course, the name David Ortiz has been firmly etched into Boston sports lore for more than a decade. A bargain basement pickup from the Minnesota Twins in 2003, Ortiz was resurrected at Fenway Park, forming with Manny Ramirez the deadliest three-four punch in the modern game. Papi famously hauled the Red Sox to success with unprecedented heroics in the 2004 postseason, before establishing a new franchise single season home run record of 54 in 2006. He was also the heart and soul of championship teams in 2007 and 2013, becoming just the 14th Red Sock ever to win three World Series rings.

Along the way, David Ortiz became a hero to Red Sox Nation, adored as a fuzzy caricature of fun all over the world. Yet, I always found his on-field performance more impressive. Only five people have ever played more games for the Red Sox, and only two have hit more home runs, Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams. Ortiz also ranks seventh in hits, third in doubles, and fourth in RBI, although he could move up those lists with another productive season.

To that end, attention now turns to the Red Sox’ front office. Theoretically, Ortiz’ impending retirement should strengthen its conviction to go all-out and try to build an elite team capable of providing Big Papi with one last taste of October baseball. After all, David Ortiz is synonymous with those juggernaut Red Sox teams of the mid-2000s, so giving him a final shot at the championship would be a fitting token of appreciation. Only two players, Harry Hooper and Heinie Wagner, have ever won four World Series rings with The Olde Towne Team, and Ortiz deserves a shot at joining them.

Ultimately, 2016 will be a strange season as the retirement of a legend looms over the Red Sox. An entire generation has grown up knowing nothing other than David Ortiz in the middle of Boston’s lineup. Accordingly, it will be sad to see his career winding down, his star fading away, like an old friend moving out of town, like a favorite pet losing its spark. However, I’m determined to enjoy whatever remains of the Big Papi story, which hopefully includes a few more autumnal nights under the postseason lights at Fenway Park, where the man carved his legacy, and where his spirit will always reside.