Ortiz, Red Sox 4 million apart in arbitration filings

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Ortiz, Red Sox 4 million apart in arbitration filings

If the Red Sox and David Ortiz are to settle on a salary for the 2012 season without having the matter settled in arbitration, they've got a gap of almost 4 million to close in the next few weeks.

One of four Red Sox players still eligible for salary arbitration, Ortiz filed a request for 16.5 million, while the Red Sox countered at 12.65 million. Should the matter go to a hearing, an arbitrator must choose either one figure or the other, with no middle ground as an option.

The 16.5 million is the highest salary requested by a full-time DH, while the Red Sox filed a figure only slightly higher than Ortiz's base salary of 12.5 million from 2011.

In fact, when Ortiz's performance bonuses are added to his base last season, he earned exactly 12.65 million in 2011, meaning the Red Sox are effectively not offering him a raise at all.

Ortiz finished fourth in the American League with a .952 OPS in 2012 while hitting 29 homers and knocking in 96 RBI. It was his best season since 2007, but the Red Sox are betting that the depressed market for DHs -- only Adam Dunn and Travis Hafner are scheduled to make more than 12.65 million in 2012 and no other full-time DH will make an eight-figure salary.

Increasingly, American League teams are utilizing several players in the DH spot, providing payroll and lineup flexibility.

Three other Red Sox players also filed for salary arbitration Tuesday.

Reliever Andrew Bailey, obtained from Oakland last month, filed a request of 4.7 million while the Red Sox countered at 3.35 million. Daniel Bard, arbitration eligible for the first time, filed at 1.825 million with the Sox coming in at 1.4 million.

Finally, Alfredo Aceves requested 1.6 million, with the Red Sox filing a figure of 950,000.

The Red Sox can continue to negotiate with the four players up until the date of scheduled hearings, which are scheduled to run between Feb. 1-21 in St. Petersburg, FL.

The Sox haven't gone to a hearing since 2002, when they beat pitcher Rolando Arrojo.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.