Breaking News: Ortiz wants a contract


Breaking News: Ortiz wants a contract

This just in: The Red Sox have a lot on their plate this offseason.

Among the items on Ben Cherington's to-do list: Finding a replacement for Adrian Gonzalez, finding a replacement for Bobby Valentine, finding another quality starter, finding a few guys who know how to get on base, figuring out what to do with Jacoby Ellsbury and finally, convincing Larry Lucchino that anything and everything is worthy of his diabolical plan.

And then there's the seemingly annual task on the Sox winter check list: Dealing with David Ortiz!

Papi hits the free agent market again this year, and to absolutely no one's surprise, he's already sounding off on his desire for a mulit-year contract. In this case, to the Herald's Scott Lauber:

Yeah, of course, its something I dont want to be worried about anymore, Ortiz said. If I can play, I can play. You cant take that away from me. I think its easier for me not to be answering the questions youre asking me right now the whole year.

Its been, what, three years now that Ive got to be answering this question, and Ive been one of the most productive players on this ball club. Why me?

The "Why me?" question can be answered a few ways. There's the fact that he'll turn 37 in November. There's the fact that he was previously linked to steroids and initially saw his numbers dwindle in the aftermath. There's the fact that he's now been hampered by a sore Achilles at various points over the last two years, with the most recent incident causing him to miss the final two months of the season. There's the fact that there's not another team in baseball that will give him a multi-year deal. There's the fact that most of the questions that he's asked about the issue stem from him bringing said issue up himself, unprovoked, numerous times every season.

I think that will suffice for now.

And the question moving forward is: Will the Sox ever give him more than one year? All signs point to no.

Which leads us to another question: Is David Ortiz worth the headache?

I mean, we all know that the Sox can use and will probably need his bat in the line-up next year, but in the name of cleansing that clubhouse and changing the face and focus of this organization, will Papi's number be worth having to listen to him constantly or even sporadically bitch about not having more security?

I say no. But just to be sure, let me just check with Larry first.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake