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.