BOSTON -- Perhaps it was just coincidence -- he happened to be in town for his introductory press conference as Red Sox manager -- but John Farrell took the time Tuesday to meet with David Ortiz, who can becone a free agent in two weeks.
The two sides have exchanges proposals and are attempting to work out a two-year deal that would keep Ortiz, who has been with the team since 2003, in a Red Sox uniform through 2014.
A baseball source said the value of the deal would likely be somewhere in the 24-25 million range. That would represent a small pay cut for Ortiz -- he earned 14.5 million in 2012, as part of a settlement in January, shortly before a schedule arbitration hearing -- but gives him the security of the multiyear deal he's long sought.
Though technically no longer under control of the Sox, Ortiz was at Fenway working out and general manager Ben Cherington joked that "out of the goodness of our hearts, we've kept the door open for David to use our facility here as long as he's in Boston.''
Turning more serious, Cherington noted that the Sox "want to have David back. We've had good, amicable dialogue since the end of the season. I talked to Fernando (Cuza, the slugger's agent) Monday. We'll continue talking and our hope is to get something done. I'm sure we'll talk again this week some time.''
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams can offer a one-year qualifying offer of 13.3 million to their own free agents five days after the end of the World Series.
But the Sox are hopeful that a negotiated deal with Ortiz will in place before then.
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer. And…
US ambassador to Japan?
Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.
The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons.
When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team."
Would he be interested?
"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.
Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.
Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.