We all remember how last offseason went between the Red Sox and David Ortiz.
He wanted a multi-year deal. The Sox didn't want to commit. He wanted a certain amount of money. The Sox had another number in mind.
So, will the drama continue this season now that his one-year arbitration deal is over? Lou Merloni joins CSNNE's Kyle Draper to discuss what he thinks the Sox should do with Ortiz.
"If it was up to me, I'd bring him back on a one-year deal," Merloni said. "I think there's too many holes in this offense not to bring a guy back that can hit third, fourth, fifth in the middle of your order."
Ortiz will still want a multi-year deal, but Merloni offers to meet him halfway.
"I'd probably give him a vesting option. Not guaranteed, but hey, if you play 130 games, the second year is guaranteed."
Not a bad idea. Merloni states that as long as Ortiz plays, he should produce. But missing a lot of time this season won't help Ortiz's cause.
"Ninety games played is something that has to be on Red Sox GM Ben Cherington's mind," Merloni said. "That has to be the one reason why you don't give this guy a two-year deal."
Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.
Terms of the deals were not announced.
It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with the team, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.
Bradley, who turns 27 April 19, had his best season in 2016, hitting .267 with 26 homers and a league-best 29-game hitting streak. He also won his first Gold Glove. A Scott Boras client, Bradley isn’t eligible for free agency until 2020.
Friday at 1 p.m. was the deadline to reach deals to avoid arbitration.
Other arbitration-eligible Red Sox are infielders Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad, right-handers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross and Tyler Thornburg and catcher Sandy Leon.