Ortiz nearing free-agent decision

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Ortiz nearing free-agent decision

CAP CANA, Dominican Republic -- If you think David Ortiz has been consumed with free agency -- worried about whether he'll return to the Red Sox, weighing offers from other teams -- well, you thought wrong.

"I've been involved with this activity," he said Friday in a one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet's Jessica Moran, referring to this weekend's charity golf tournament that he's hosting.

"My agent knows I've been so busy with putting this together here, I told him, 'Only let me know if we are getting close to what we want'," said Ortiz. " 'Other than that, you talk to them. You deal with everything, and at one point we catch up'. "

"Last thing I heard, the Red Sox offered me arbitration."

But the tournament will be over Sunday. That makes it decision time . . . or close to it.

"Now when I meet with agent Fern Cuza on Monday, we're going to decide what I'm going to do," Ortiz told Moran.

Is accepting arbitration -- which would probably guarantee him a raise to about 14 million, but would mean accepting a one-year deal when he clearly wants two or three years -- one of his options?

"I haven't thought about it," he said. "I haven't been in this situation before. So it's something you talk to your agents about, and then decide what's better for you and the team."

It was part of an in-depth interview that touched on many points, including . . .

Are a lot of teams interested in signing him?
"My agent told me this week there's a good group of teams that would like to talk to us about our situation. They've been having conversations with some people and I'm a free agent and I got to listen to what everyone has to say, right? We're going to sit down and talk about it and make decisions."

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. It's business, but everyone asks you for loyalty when it comes down to this business. So I think there's a lot involved and then it comes down to what everybody already knows, your contract situation. And there's a lot involved with signing a guy like myself. 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. But there's a history, and that's why there's players that play for a team a long time, finish their career with the team. 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,"

On playing for new manager Bobby Valentine:
"I'm fine with anybody. I would play for you if you were the manager. Because in my case, I know what I need to do. It's not like I need anybody babysitting me or telling me what to do. Sometimes you do things wrong that you need to be reminded to correct them, that's human nature, but other than that . . . I know my package. I know what I need to bring to the field to play the game. And once the game starts, you got to be ready to go out there and beat up the opposition. I already know that, I think playing for Valentine I'm gonna be good, if playing for Terry Francona or somebody else."

On what his charity golf tournament means to him:
"It means a lot. When it comes to helping children, giving them health care, it's something I'm 100 percent down with. We've successfully been able to give back to the kids, thank God, and we've been able to get help to a lot of kids that really need it . . . When I saw the huge list they have of kids waiting to get surgery, I was like, 'I don't know how to start'. But once we created the foundation, its been unbelievable."

On where his giving spirit comes from:
"I got it from my family and background. It's the way your family raises you. I come from a family that didn't have a lot, but the little things we had we shared. My parents always used to make emphasize on being open to give back. That's part of my nature."

McAdam: Red Sox should pass on this Sale

McAdam: Red Sox should pass on this Sale

BOSTON -- I'm not sure what the Red Sox would have to give up for Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale.

For that matter, I can't say definitively that the two clubs have actually discussed a trade for Chris Sale, though it's logical to assume they have, even in a cursory way.

The White Sox, mired toward the bottom of the A.L. Central and with just one playoff appearance in the last 11 seasons, are said to be "open'' to listening for offers on Sale. That's both their right and their duty.

As for the Red Sox, given that they're a big-market club with plenty of resources and an expectation from a loyal fan base to compete for a championship every season, they're similarly smart to inquire.

Who knows? Maybe the White Sox have had their fill of Sale and ,in a fit of pique, might be desperate enough to take less than full value to rid themselves of a pitcher who's developed into quite the clubhouse lawyer of late.

But my guess is that the White Sox are demanding a lot for Sale. That makes sense, since, beyond his raging sense of entitlement, Sale remains one of the handful of best starters in the game and is under club control for another three seasons after this one.

Whatever the asking price is, however, it's almost certainly too much.

Sure, the addition of Sale might, on paper, make the Red Sox the favorites to win the American League pennant.

Again, on paper. Ask the New York Mets, who owned the best starting rotation in the game when the season began and now sit, uncomfortably, in third place in their own division.

So much for the best-laid plans.

But the focus here is on the cost, however unknown, to obtain Sale.

If obtaining Drew Pomeranz cost the Red Sox Anderson Espinoza, how much more would Sale cost?

Let's assume that the Red Sox consider Yoan Moncada essentially untouchable. That would mean Boston would have to essentially clean out the rest of its prospect inventory. Think: a package like Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and Michael Kopech, and perhaps more.

Or maybe the White Sox want more established young talent, and have their eyes on Mookie Betts and more.

Argue, if you wish, that pitching is more important than offense, but giving up a leadoff man who's shown indications he could become a five-tool superstar? No, thanks.

There's also the matter of need. Unlike at the beginning of the season, the Red Sox can now lay claim to having a rotation in which every one of the five starters gives them a solid chance to win.

Yes, David Price has underperformed in a big way. But that's likely the result of adjusting to Boston and new surroundings. What are the odds that, at 30, Price has almost overnight permanently devolved into a mediocre starter after finishing second in the Cy Young Award voting just last fall?

Steven Wright has emerged as a consistent starter who's under control for the forseeable future. Rick Porcello, though not flashy, is pitching like the Red Sox envisioned he would when they dealt for him a season-and-a-half ago. Eduardo Rodriguez has overcome injury and delivery issues to fufull the promise he showed as a rookie. And Pomeranz could be an afforable middle-of-the-rotation for years to come.

Is Sale better than each one of them right now? Of course, Price included.

But is the Red Sox rotation so troubled that it must upgrade now or else? No. Is their an obvious weak link begging to be immediately replaced? No.

And this is not Chris Sale, free agent. This is Chris Sale, incredibly expensive trade piece.

What if they stripmined their minor-league system for Sale, and didn't win? Then what? What if they tore up their core of foundational players for Sale, only to find him incapable of surviving Boston?

As I confessed earlier, I'm don't know what the White Sox would want for Sale.

What I do know is that it would, by definition, almost certainly be too much.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

QUOTES:

"He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade.'' - John Farrell on Drew Pomeranz.

"I had a good curveball and I was locating my fastball a lot better. I was in a lot better counts all night, but I made one pitch that hurt us.'' - Pomeranz on his outing.

"He was able to limit the damage against a very good offensive team. He pitched well enough to win. I just wish we could have put more runs on the board for him.'' - Jackie Bradley Jr. on Pomeranz.

 

NOTES:

* Until Monday night, the Red Sox had won their last six series openers.

* Drew Pomeranz has allowed four or fewer hits in 12 of his 18 starts this season.

* Eleven of Travis Shaw's last 15 hits have been for extra bases.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. had his 25th multi-hit game.

* Sandy Leon is hitting .500 (11-for-22) with runners in scoring position.

* The Red Sox are 21-21 in games decided by two or fewer runs.

* Dustin Pedroia (walk, single) has reached base in 28 straight games.

* Xander Bogaerts has 133 hits through 97 games. Since 1940, only Wade Boggs (134 in 1983; 135 in 1987) and Adrian Gonzalez (135 in 2011) had more.

STARS:

1) Justin Verlander

Verlander has enjoyed a bounce-back season of sorts this year, and the Red Sox got to see it up close Monday night as Verlander limited them a single run over six innings.

2) Jose Iglesias

The former Red Sox shortstop haunted his old team with a two-run homer in the sixth to put the Tigers ahead to stay.

3) Drew Pomeranz

The lefty absorbed the loss, but pitched well enough to win, giving up two runs in six innings while striking out seven.