BOSTON -- Unlike their hands-off approach to Jonathan Papelbon, the Red Sox are engaged -- very engaged -- in attempts to retain their high-profile free agent, David Ortiz.
"David knows that we want him to be here, we want him to be back with the Red Sox, we want him in our lineup, and weve had a lot of dialogue to see if theres a way to do that," said general manager Ben Cherington. "I think that will continue.
The problem: Ortiz and his representatives have one view of Ortiz' non-Boston options, and the Sox have another. Ortiz no doubt feels he can command a solid offer on the free-agent market, while the team feels that because of his age, the salary he's seeking and his lack of a defensive position, his potential suitors are limited to big-market American League teams in need of a DH.
There's "a little bit more of a defined market" for Ortiz, said Cherington, which made it easier to begin negotiations sooner.
As to whether or not the team has made an offer to Ortiz, Cherington said: Id prefer not to comment on offers."
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.