Where else is Papi headed?

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Where else is Papi headed?

OK, so we can obviously rule out the entire National League.

You have a better chance of seeing Larry Lucchino standing outside Theo's bedroom window with a boom box than you do of seeing David Ortiz in the N.L.

Next, let's consider the reigning American League playoff teams.

After all, you assume that Ortiz wants to play for a winner:

Texas: They're already paying Michael Young 32 million over next two years. At 35, Young can still play a little third base, and a little more first base, but more than anything he's a DH. Made 69 appearances last year, and that will increase.

Tigers: Hey, remember Victor Martinez?
Yankees: They've already expressed their disinterest, although things can always change. But what won't change is that 37-year-old Derek Jeter and 36-year-old Alex Rodriguez are at the point where they'll need their share of reps in the designated slot. (Also, I don't care that they're Yankees, that last sentence is depressing as hell).

Tampa Bay: This one's interesting, especially if the Rays don't bring back Johnny Damon. But then again, if the Sox aren't willing to give Papi what he wants (and we have to assume that, all offers being equal, Ortiz would stay in Boston), why would the Rays? Overpaying is not their style.

OK, so how about other perennial contenders?

Angels: They still have Bobby Abreu on the hook for another season, and Kendrys Morales should finally return after the most costly home run celebration in Major League history.

White Sox: They owe Adam Dunn 44 million over the next three years. Ha. Also, soon-to-be 36-year-old Paul Konerko's around for the next two years and getting DHier by the day.

And perennial non-contenders?

A's and Mariners: Both these teams are in the market for a DH, but there's no way Ortiz makes the leap. Or if he does, he'll immediately regret the decision. You don't spend nearly a decade as a hero in the most obsessed baseball city in America and make a seamless transition into the doldrums of the AL West. Also, while we're here, let's eliminate the rest of the AL Central: Indians, Royals and Twins = not happening.

And lastly, how about the rest of the A.L. East?

Blue Jays: Their need for Ortiz decreased when they picked up the option on Edwin Encarnacion, but I suppose there's still might be some interest. Idea: If the Jays want Papi so badly, the Sox should sign him themselves and then offer Ortiz straight up for John Farrell.

Orioles: You know Buck Showalter would love this. The guy's more concerned with the Red Sox than he his own team. But then again, if they're looking for an aging Dominican DH, they're better off re-signing Vlad Guerrero he'll come cheaper. Or better yet, how about bringing both Vlad and Papi in and having them race around the bases for the job? At the end of the day, much like with the A's and Mariners, I don't see Papi sucking it up and committing two (or three) years to basement Baltimore.

And at the end of free agency, despite alleged interest and other offers, I don't see Papi anywhere but Boston. He and his agent can posture all they want.

There's no better fit and no more likely destination.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.